Back to the roots: TAZARA provides insights of the feat
The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), will now see rapid development facilitated by an efficient and effective means of communication as manifested through the newly launched book published by the Chinese Government.
Dubbed: “A monument to China-Africa Friendship-Firsthand Account of the Building of the TAZARA’ the book has presented a vivid reproduction of the unforgettable historic feat and hard course of building TAZARA.
Speaking during the launching ceremony at TAZARA headquarters in Dar es Salaam last week, the former Prime Minister Salim Ahmed Salim, said the book has come in time for Tanzania to use
the history and narrations provided in the book to address the current challenges and see the way forward to achieve significant development in future. Salim had previously also served as Tanzania Ambassador to China.
“It is a book which I know contains narrations which will remind future generations the virtue of sacrifice and determination,” he said.
Recalling the historical visit of Premier Chou En Lai to Tanzania in February 1965, followed by the visit to the People’s Republic of China by President Mwalimu Julius Nyerere in June 1965, he said the two high level visits laid down a solid foundation to the building of TAZARA.
“Back in 1969 when I was assigned as the ambassador of my country to China, there were some critics who pursued the opposition by referring to impending doom of TAZARA. But TAZARA has survived and served its principal objectives,” he elaborated.
He added that through the political freedom that has been achieved, TAZARA has taken up another war frontier that of economic freedom.
On his part, the ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in Tanzania, Dr Lu Youqing, said the book lays down significant moment for TAZARA to boost their performance in promoting economic growth.
“The book provide us a new chance to cherish the memory of the martyrs, build on past achievements while keeping up with changing circumstances and promote the continuous development of the new type of strategic partnership between China and Africa,” he said.
The TAZARA Deputy Managing Director, Eng. Drseven Betram Kiswaga, said despite the challenge of sufficient funds to run the rail and inadequate human resources that in the last Financial Year, the Authority reached its worst
performance ever, transporting around 87,000 tons of freight, still significant improvements have been achieved in recent years.
“We are expecting to move about 150,000 tons by the end of the Financial Year in June 2016 despite the existing challenges.
Our transit time between the two terminal points of TAZARA has improved from 30 days to less than seven days in the last 10 months and our customers are happy that we are now able to deliver freight within a week,” he said.
TAZARA is an integral part of the southern Africa Regional Rail Transport Network. It is a rail link of approximately 1,860 km. The railroad is designed with a 1067 mm gauge that permits through traffic operations with contiguous railway of Southern Africa. Equipped with adequate facilities, TAZARA has a designed capacity of 5 million tonnes of freight a year.