East African Community (EAC) secretary-general Juma Mwapachu says a new railway is being planned to link the port of Tanga in Tanzania with Musoma on Lake Victoria, with onward connection to Kampala in Uganda, “to boost the economy and facilitate smooth implementation of the bloc’s “common market protocol.” It is by no means a new concept, having been on the drawing board far too long, in the view of press commentators. Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has been quoted saying the Musoma link was “the lifeline of the Uganda of his dreams”.
With a rated capacity for 4.1 million tonnes of dry cargo, 6 million tonnes of bulk liquids, 3.1 million tonnes of general cargo and a million tonnes of containerised traffic, the port of Dar-es-Salaam port is severely stretched. It handles about 95% of Tanzania’s international trade in addition to serving neighbouring landlocked countries such as Zambia, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Development at the port of Tanga, with a current annual handling capacity of 500,000 tonnes, would reduce the load on Dar meaningfully