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Tanzania and Rwanda have agreed to jointly construct a 400-kilometre standard gauge railway (SGR) linking Isaka and Kigali to promote business between the two countries.

A statement issued by Ikulu recently said the agreement to the endeavour was reached between President John Magufuli and the Rwandan head of state Paul Kagame during talks in Dar es Salaam during the latter’s visit.

The statement said the two presidents directed their respective ministers responsible for infrastructure to meet soonest to chart out implementation strategies including the funding aspect.

President Magufuli said Tanzania, which has already started construction of 726-kilometre SGR linking Dar es Salaam, Morogoro and Dodoma, will soon start construction of the portion between Dodoma and Isaka which, would facilitate transportation of goods and people from Dar es Salaam to Kigali.

Implementation of this project will promote trade and increase employment opportunities in Rulenge Ngara, Rwanda and Burundi, where nickel is mined, hence completion of the infrastructure will ease transportation of these minerals and boost trade,”  said President Magufuli, adding that the rail could  also serve Burundi, DRC and  Uganda.

He also noted that although there has been an increase of Rwanda-bound cargo through Tanzania, which has reached 950,000 tonnes annually, trade between the two countries is still not satisfactory and that this was a major push behind the agreement.

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