DAR ES SALAAM VENUE FOR 3RD EAST AND CENTRAL AFRICAN ROAD AND RAIL SUMMIT
Tanzanias commercial capital of Dar es Salaam was chosen to once again host the third East and Central Africa Road and Rail Infrastructure Summit, bringing together private and public sector, investors and operators from a number of African countries including non EAC members Zambia and Ethiopia.
The wider Eastern African region has in recent years been subject to a multitude of proposed new rail projects, with the arguably most advanced being the link from Dar es Salaam, via Isaka to Kigali / Rwanda. LAPPSET too has made advances with a proposed new deep sea harbour in Lamu linking the landlocked countries of South Sudan and Ethiopia by a new standard gauge railway and a highway, having a branch off in Northern Kenya to Juba and Addis Ababa, which would give both countries a reliable link for imports and exports away from hostile neighbours. Not much progress though has been made in past plans to link Juba with Uganda before joining the RVR network linking to Mombasa, and other plans to create a new railway line between Tanga and Musoma at Lake Victoria too have inspite of political declarations of intent been on the slow burner, as financiers are looking at them all to root out duplicity and promote only the most viable links in terms of passenger and cargo traffic expected to shift from road to rail.
As to the road sector, bottlenecks continue to exist along the major traffic arteries from the coastal ports of Dar es Salaam and Mombasa to the hinterland countries, especially considering the constantly congested Kenyan capital Nairobi and the same in Kampala, with border crossing facilities and infrastructure too lagging decades behind. Here the East African countries are expected to discuss both rehabilitation, expansion as well as new bypasses around the worst congested stretches of highway to ensure that a future road network supports the growth ambitions of the East African Community and provides links to South Sudan, Eastern Congo and Ethiopia. The meeting will take place between 21st and 22nd June.