HUGE investments in infrastructural projects are among the top priorities of the fifth phase government after assuming power five years ago, with a view to revolutionising mobility and the distribution of goods in Tanzania.
These projects are reshaping the country in many ways. Improvement of roads has facilitated public transport and transportation of goods that farmers and businesspeople have benefitted from.
The construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), project, which started a few years ago, will link the country’s strategic regions and neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to cover the length of 1,800km.
This is a major breakthrough in rail transport in Tanzania since the country got independence in 1961.
It is evidently that after road transport, rail transport follows as the most important mode of transport in Tanzania and the rest of the East Africa region for freight as well as passenger services.
The construction of SGR will facilitate movements of people and goods in the country and in the region which is crucial for robust economic growth.
With the speed of 160km per hour and capacity to ferry 17 million tonnes per annum, SGR is an economical head-start to be translated into viable strategies to boost networks, beneficial inter-regional passenger traffic and employment opportunities lost in the past decade.
By deploying right measures, being an efficient transportation mechanism, the modern railway will reduce costs in many other sectors of the economy, namely extraction, manufacturing and supply.
Transport sector experts estimates that return the capital investment of about 5-20 percent per annum will be attracted when the project starts operating.
Data from the World Bank shows in developing nations like Tanzania and other EAC member states, higher income levels are associated with a greater share of transportation.
The construction of SGR is expected to spur interactions in production, costs and consumption, thus the vitality of it could be reflected on each sector of the economy, including construction and mining.
Wide markets can be drawn through the reliable mobility of people and goods because reliable transport will help production of raw materials and distribution of finished goods, so businesspeople could move commodities across the region through SGR.
In a country with over 70 percent of its workforce engaging in agriculture, SGR is expected to cut down transport costs of crops to markets, thus boosting their earnings for improved living standards