Samuel Sitta, Tanzania's Minister for East African CooperatioTanzania, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo have agreed to link road, railway, air and water transport at a meeting here yesterday.
The meeting brought together Tanzanias Minister for East African Cooperation, Samuel Sitta and his Burundi counterpart, Leontine Nzeyimana and South Kivus minister of Transport in DRC, Jack Lukeba.
The ministers said the network will include Lake Tanganyika which forms boundaries with Zambia, Burundi and Tanzania, the central railway network from Uvinza in Tanzania through Msongati in Burundi and the road network between Tanzania and Burundi will connect Manyoni-Tabora-Kigoma road to Manyovu-Mgina, Mabanda-Bujumbura up to South Kivu.
Kigoma port in Tanzania and Kalindo in DRC along Lake Tanganyika will also be improved.
The three ministers visited Kalindo Port and witnessed the effects of the civil war in South Kivu.
Shabani Kalala the port Manager told the ministerial delegation that ships from Kigoma port and Zambia had stopped calling at the port.
He said before the war, the port used to host more than 18 ships in a month but now only 8 ships, reflecting a major slump in businesses in DRC.
According to the manager, renovation will enable Kalindo port to regain its position as the second largest port in DRC after Matadi.
Kalindo port also faces shortage of facilities for offloading goods, poor storage facilities for foodstuffs and pile-up of sand at berth.
Speaking to the media soon after inspecting Kalindo port, Sitta said by December 2015, Manyoni-Tabora-Kigoma road will be completed, calling on Burundi and DRC to fast track their part of the project.
The meeting also agreed that they would talk to public and private airlines to launch direct flights between Dar es Salaam and Bujumbura.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN