In Summary

This was said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday by the executive secretary of the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA), Mr Dieudonne Dukundane, during the UNCTAD Regional Capacity Building Workshop.

Dar es Salaam. When completed and operational, the standard-gauge railway (SGR) will help in reducing the transit-time and the costs in Tanzania.

This was said in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday by the executive secretary of the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA), Mr Dieudonne Dukundane, during the UNCTAD Regional Capacity Building Workshop.

The improvement that SGR brings to the infrastructure will help in reducing freight trains turnaround, thus saving time and costs.

“The infrastructure has for long been a big challenge in the monitoring and promotion of transport in Tanzania. But projects like the SGR are invariably of a big help in tackling escalating costs, transit times” and other logistics, Mr Dukundane said.

According to the CCTTFA executive secretary, improved border-crossing procedures and transport infrastructures in recent years are credited for the drop from 20 days to only two-and-a-half days the transit-time for trucks moving from, say, Dar es Salaam to upcountry and to neighboring, land-locked countries.

In that regard, commissioning of the Standard Gauge Railway will make the situation even better.

The efforts being made by the government in creating supporting services to the transport sector are very crucial. In Tanzania, trucks now take only two-and-a-half days to reach destinations within the Central Transport Corridor,” Mr Dukundane stressed.

He also mentioned another challenge for the Agency as being cross-border charges, which need to be harmonized. To that end, the tree countries of Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania recently agreed on that.

“We have an agreement to harmonize the cross-border charges – and, in fact, a transit truck currently pays only $152 to pass through Tanzania – down from $500 in the past… And we are in talks with other neighboring states with a view to also harmonizing these charges,” he revealed.

A principal weighbridge electronics engineer from the Tanzania Roads Agency (Tanroads), Joseph Rwihura, heartily commends that, and calls upon the transport sector authorities and other stakeholders to emphasize proper management of the infrastructure, saying that this is good not only for the national economy, but also for the regional economies overall.

“The development of infrastructural facilities like the SGR is essential. But Tanzania still needs to effectively tackle challenges – including registration of cargo trucks whereby, for instance, 90 per cent of the trucks registered to operate across Tanzania are not Tanzanian-owned,” Mr Rwihura revealed.