The government and Standard Chartered Bank yesterday 14th February 2020 signed a $1.46 billion (Sh3.3trillion) loan agreement for financing the second phase of the standard gauge railway (SGR).
The second of the railway will link Morogoro and Didoma regions and this financing comes from the Export Credit Agency Covered Facility from the Export Credit Agencies of Denmark and Sweden.
The Minister for Finance and Planning, Phillip Mpango said the loan will be repaid over a period of 20 years. The SGR will facilitate the increase of passenger capacity whereby it will relieve pressure on the road network.
Phillip added that the construction of the 300-kilometre section between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro is 70% complete while the second phase is 30% done.
The good thing with the project is that it will connect landlocked neighbouring countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The new railway is also expected to address current congestion challenges and cut freight service charges by at least 40% as up to 10, 000 tonnes of freight will be hauled per trip.
Standard Chartered Tanzania chief executive Sanjay Rughani said the deal signified investors’ confidence and implies international network capabilities and commitment to Tanzania.
Clarifying on job opportunities created by the project, it was noted that it has created more than 8, 000 new jobs for Tanzanians and more opportunities have been opened up in the project areas.