Tanzania and Burundi have reached an agreement to jointly build a 282km-long standard gauge railway (SGR), which will connect the countries.

In a statement, Tanzania’s finance ministry stated that the nations are seeking financial supporters to execute the project that is expected to cost $900m.

Other financial details of the project are anticipated to be declared later.

The proposed railway line will link the western Tanzanian town of Uvinza with Gitega in Burundi.

According to the statement, the route will aid in the transportation of over a million tonnes of cargo between the two East African countries.

Each year, the rail line will carry over three million tonnes of minerals from Burundi to Tanzania.

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This project is expected to cut down transportation expenses, promote industrialisation, and boost the regional economy.

Tanzanian Finance Minister Mwigulu Nchemba was quoted by Reuters as saying in a statement: “The minister of finance in Burundi and I are starting to look for areas where we can raise money to implement this project.”

While Tanzania will develop a 156km section from Malagarasi to Uvinza, Burundi will build a section that will span for 126km to Gitega.

The new route will also link the port with eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Rwanda, and Uganda.

As of now, Tanzania intends to establish a 2,561km SGR that will run from its main Indian Ocean port of Dar es Salaam to eastern and southern Africa’s hinterland.

Construction work on the first 1,219km phase is currently under progress.

This line will stretch from Dar es Salaam to the city of Mwanza in northwestern Tanzania.

Last month, Turkey’s Yapi Merkezi won a $1.9bn contract to build a 368km segment of SGR in Tanzania.