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TAZARA seeks $1.2bn

TRYNESS TEMBO, Lusaka
THE Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) says it needs about US$1.2 billion of investment in the long-term to revamp its operations and has since called on the private investors to partners with the firm to tap into the financial gap.
TAZARA managing director Bruno Ching’andu said the private sector needs to take advantage of the public-private partnership (PPP) models to partner with the authority in the running of the Dar es Salaam commuter train, whose demand is massive and cannot be satisfied at the moment.
In a statement availed to the Daily Mail yesterday, Mr Ching’andu said that TAZARA has a lot of PPP investment opportunities which serve as huge potential but required re-investment in equipment.
“To get back to peak performance, [we] need about US$250 million of investments in the short-term and about US$1.2 billion in the long term. We are calling on private investors to partner with TAZARA to achieve the desired investments.
“We are also open to PPPs in the installation of the signalling and telecommunication systems, which have been vanadalised over the years and are currently non-existent,” he said.
Mr Ching’andu said the two shareholding governments are in the process of revising the TAZARA Act to make the company more commercially viable and attractive to private players.
He said the firm targets to increase its freight from 130,000 tonnes in 2015/16 to 600,000 tonnes per annum in the short run and two million tonnes in the next five years with the current level of investment in the track, equipment and rolling stock.
“With the current level of interactions and closer dealings with the various stakeholders, we are optimistic that TAZARA’s huge potential to contribute to the economies of Tanzania and Zambia will be realised soon,” he said.
Mr Ching’andu said TAZARA requires substantive investment in many areas to achieve the goals that have been set out for the company to perform at its peak.

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