SO they say; Transport infrastructure are like blood veins in human flesh.
As the veins allow blood to flow in human, transport infrastructure as well allow goods and services to move from one place to another, thus stimulating economic growth. President John Magufuli once stated: “We can’t turn the country into middle-income level without improving road infrastructure first.”
This statement really reflects what he has been focusing on since he took the office four years ago. As this year marks fourth year of his administration, the country witnesses a facelift to its transport infrastructures, ranging from roads, railway and air.
There have been major projects, some completed and others still ongoing at various parts of the country. They are considered as strategic projects to boost economic growth.
Initially known as Tazara flyover is one of the completed mega projects and is the firstever overpass in the country which President Magufuli’s Fifth Phase Government implemented its construction and launched it last year.
Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) and Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co. Ltd. (SMCC) signed a contract on 15th October, 2015 concerning the project for Improvement of Tazara Intersection which marked the construction of the first Flyover in Tanzania under the framework of the grant aid project supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The bridge came to relieve the traffic congestion in the city, facilitating speed movement of cars to and from the city centre. Several studies confirmed that the traffic congestion had cost the city dearly, with billions of money lost in traffic jams, thus affecting the economy.
Construction of the flyover commenced in October 2016 at an estimated cost of US $965.9m. The road, which is expected to reduce traffic by up to 80 per cent as well as numerous accidents, consists of four lanes and includes a 425 meter bridge. Traffic congestion in Dar es Salaam is recognised as a severe problem in Tanzania.
According to estimates of the National Bureau Statistics, a total of 411.55bn/-was lost in the year 2013 due to this congestion.
Julius Nyerere International Airport Terminal 3
This strategic project started during forth phase government and when President Magufuli came to power he speeded up its implementation after realising that it was stalled due to some challenges in contract. This is an historic, a world class terminal at the JNIA, which the President Magufuli launched recently.
The new terminal building, which is particularly for international arrivals and departures, has capacity of handling 6 million passengers annually, thus bringing to 8 million a total number of passengers that the JNIA will be handling per year since the terminal 1 and 2 can handle about 2 million passengers.
The terminal, with capacity of accommodating 19 aircrafts of Code C at once or 11 aircrafts of Code E like Boeing 787 Dreamliner, has 12 passengers boarding bridges.
President Magufuli noted that the completion of 722bn/- terminal III project was a result of proper use of funds and discipline in financial management, noting that the launch writes another history for Tanzania.
Standard Gauge Railway
For the first time in over 50 years, Tanzania’s transnational railway is being modernised, the design of a 207 km section running from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro.
The modernisation is a valuable contribution to Tanzania’s future development to meet an increasing demand for the transportation of passengers and improve the domestic supply network.
The railway line is intended to ease the transfer of goods between the port of Dar es Salaam and the cities of Kigali, in Rwanda and subsequently to Bujumbura, in Burundi, and to Goma, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
From the lake port of Mwanza, surface water ferries are expected to transport goods between Mwanza and Port Bell and Bukasa Inland Port, in Kampala, Uganda’s capital city. The SGR system in Tanzania, in conformity with neighboring Rwanda and Uganda is designed to use electricity to power its locomotives.
The SGR is expected to accommodate passenger trains traveling at 160 kilometres (99 mi) per hour and cargo trains traveling at 120 kilometres (75 mi) per hour. When laying foundation stone for the SGR construction, President Magufuli said the SGR would speed up the country’s industrialisation drive.
The project, to be implemented in five phases, will link Dar es Salaam and Mwanza and eventually Rwanda and Burundi. The portion whose construction was launched is about 300 kilometres long, from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro. Reli Assets Holding Company Ltd (Rahco) oversees the construction of the project.
Rahco Acting Managing Director, Masanja Kadogosa, hailed the government for its efforts to make the project happen, noting that it would go a long way towards opening up business opportunities in the hinterland.
The SGR will run parallel to the existing German-built central railway line, and will allow a speed of 160 km per hour and will handle about 17 million tonnes per annum.
President Magufuli launched the long awaited road interchange project at Ubungo in Dar es Salaam. The President said the project was also a very important undertaking meant to minimise endemic traffic jam in the city.
The then Works, Transport and Communication Minister, Prof Makame Mbarawa, said that the Ubungo junction has been a major bottleneck in the Dar es Salaam transport system.
President Magufuli is determined to ensure that his government transforms Tanzania into middle-income, and improvement of infrastructures was among the mechanisms.
His Government showed its determination to spearhead a major national infrastructural revolution by raising the national budget allocation for development projects from 26 to about 40 per cent. During his every work tour in the regions he was always scheduled to either officiate the commencement of the road or bridge construction projects or inauguration for the uses.
In July 2018, he made road projects marathon launch in Lake Zone during which residents of some of the areas taken to first ever experience of witnessing tarmac roads in their areas. In Kagera, Dr Magufuli launched the 154-kilometre Kigoma-Biharamulo- Lusahunga road project to cost about 160bn/-.
On the same, he laid foundation stone for construction of 50-kilometre Nyakanazi- Kibondo road in Kigoma region and he went on opening the 114.9-kilometre Tabora- Page-Nzega motorway and another road connecting Tabora and Nyahua, covering 85 kilometres.
He also launched the newly constructed road in the Tabora municipality and the 89.3-kilometre Manyoni- Itigi-Chanya road. Yet, in May last year the President officially opened a 218-kilometre which is part of the TANZAM highway. The highway connects Iyovi, Iringa and Mafinga District in Iringa Region.
The new road, which was built at a total cost of 283bn/-will helps turn Iringa municipality into a commercial hub bringing vehicles from as far as Kenya. In the same period he launched a project to construct a 6.9-kilometre road from Mikumi- Kidatu-Ifakara.