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TANZANIA’s minister of works and transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa, laid a foundation stone for the Makutupora - Tabora phase three section of the Dar es Salaam - Mwanza standard-gauge railway project on April 12 at the Cheyo B stadium in Tabora.

The 368km Makutupora - Tabora section will have eight passenger and freight stations in Manyoni, Itigi, Kazikazi, Tura, Malongwe, Goweko, Igalula and Tabora.

Yapı Merkezi, Turkey, was awarded a $US 1.9bn turnkey contract for the infrastructure works, including the signalling, telecommunications, and electrification. The project must be completed in 3 years 10 months including trial operation.

“Our company has already undertaken the construction of the first two phases of the Dar es Salaam - Mwanza railway in Tanzania, which will be the fastest railway in East Africa,” says Mr Erdem Arıoğlu, vice-chairman of Yapı Merkezi Construction.

The 1219km 160km/h standard-gauge railway is being built in five phases:

  • Phase 1 Dar es Salaam - Morogoro
  • Phase 2 Morogoro - Makutupora
  • Phase 3 Makutupora - Tabora
  • Phase 4 Tabora - Isaka, and
  • Phase 5 Isaka - Mwanza.

About 80% of the new railway is being built parallel to the existing metre-gauge line while 20% will be on new alignments to avoid sharp curves. - David Briginshaw, International Railway Journal


NAIROBI, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The dualling of the 27 km Nairobi eastern bypass, which is being constructed by China Communication Construction Company, will be completed in June, a Kenyan official said.

James Macharia, the cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, said that the construction of the road which began in January is currently 30 percent complete and will take six months to be completed.

"It is a major piece of infrastructure in terms of the overall master plan of Nairobi," Macharia said during an inspection tour of the eastern bypass late Friday.

He said that the project was being funded by the government to the tune of about 12.5 billion shillings (about 110 million U.S. dollars). He revealed that the contractors have committed to spend at least 44 million dollars in local content in order to boost the country's economy.

Macharia said that the road construction project has also employed 660 locals.

The eastern bypass is part of the Nairobi ring road network master plan consisting of the Northern, Eastern, Southern and Western bypasses and was mooted in order to reduce traffic jams around the city center by navigating around the metropolis.

According to the government official, the eastern bypass connects Nairobi-Mombasa road to the Thika superhighway which is part of the Great North road that runs from Cairo in Egypt to South Africa's Cape Town. - Xinhua


Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania to Qatar H E Dr. Mahadhi Juma Maalim says the East African nation presents a unique tourism destination for Qataris and citizens. 

Recently, TheGrio, a digital news outlet named Tanzania among the top five places to visit in Africa. It boasts the famous Serengeti National Park. The Park hosts the largest annual animal migration globally of over 1.5 million blue wildebeest and 250,000 zebra, and the largest lion population in Africa.  

Speaking to the media recently, Dr. Maalim said, “In terms of tourism, of course, more than 30% of the land in Tanzania is marked as a national resource where wild animals roam freely. You cannot get that anywhere else in the world or within the East African region. I think people can visit that in one trip and get a different experience, and we have different things to offer.”

Dr. Maalim also disclosed that visiting Tanzania is easier as visa applications and approval are completed in three days.

“Qataris and a lot of residents can get visas very easily within two or three days. They can apply online without coming to the embassy,” he stressed.

Qatar and Tanzania share a long history culturally and in terms of trade dating back centuries. Over the years, Zanzibar has been arguably the top attraction for visitors from Qatar, and Dr. Maalim notes that Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest mountain in Africa at 5,895 metres), beaches, and other conservations are also places of interest. 

“The Safaris and the Serengeti are well known. Those who like mountain climbing can visit Mount Kilimanjaro. We also have beautiful beaches, especially in Zanzibar, for watersports and all kinds of attractions,” Dr. Maalim adds. 

The envoy also disclosed plans to partner with tour orgnaisers to arrange fun trips to the country and publicity through the local media in Qatar. “We will be working with the travel and tourism companies to prepare some fun trips for potential visitors to familiarise themselves with our attractions.”

So far, Qatar Airways operates four flights daily to Tanzania, two to the commercial capital Dar El Salam and two to the coastal city of Zanzibar.

Meanwhile, Dr. Maalim noted that he hopes to sign more MoUs and agreements with Qatar beyond the air transport and employment regulations. According to him, three deals between both countries have been finalised, with ten being discussed at different stages. - The Peninsula

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