National railways of Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania sign agreement to transport goods and passengers between the countries

March 16, 2013

Africa, International

National railways of Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania sign agreement to transport goods and passengers between the countries

South Central Africa

By Maimbolwa Mulikelela
Time of Zambia

TANZANIA Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA), Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) and Societe Nationale Des Chemins De Fer Du Congo Sarl (SNCC) have signed an agreement to harmonize operations among the three railway companies.

The agreement will facilitate smooth transportation of goods and passengers by rail between Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The chief executive officers of the three railway companies, Damas Ndumbaro, acting managing Director of TAZARA, Clive Chirwa, managing director of ZRL and Vincent Tshiongo Ngalula, acting director general of SNCC met on Thursday March 7, 2013 to sign the agreement which customers have been demanding for.

The signing ceremony followed three earlier independent business agreements entered into between the respective parties, that is TAZARA and SNCC, TAZARA and ZRL as well as between ZRL and SNCC.

A communiqué released in Lubumbashi stated that the Tripartite Agreement had clearly defined how the three railways shall collaborate and interact with each other in terms of conveyance of goods and passengers through each other’s railway network without re-marshalling and transshipment, to the appropriate satisfaction of requirements and demands of respective clients.

“Importantly, we have come to a mutual understanding on all the technical parameters regarding our respective operations and provided for continuous consultations through regular interchange meetings for the entire period of the agreement,” read the communiqué.

The communiqué further said that of critical importance was the assistance that the three organizations had agreed to be rendering to each other whenever a railway network requested the other to assist in terms of staff or materials which it was able to provide.

With this agreement in place, cargo can now move in either direction and all the way from Dar es Salaam to New Kapiri-Mposhi and Lubumbashi and vice versa without necessarily transshipping, re-marshalling or encountering complications of any kind.

The SNCC acting director general, who hosted the signing ceremony in Lubumbashi, praised the efforts of all the tree railway networks for working hard to ensure that the agreement came to fruition after many months of protracted negotiations.

Mr Ngalula lauded the signing as squarely fitting in the political aspirations of the African Union as well as the regional trade facilitation objectives of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Southern African Development Community and the East African Community.

“The signing of this tripartite agreement marks the moment when we prove the will of our respective Governments,” Mr Ngalula said.

The acting managing director of TAZARA observed that the agreement had opened the door for a co-operation that would effectively link and serve customers in Lubumbashi, the Copperbelt and central parts of Zambia and Dar es Salaam, by harmonizing the passage of goods between these regions.

Dr Ndumbaro said the full implementation of the Tripartite Agreement would assist the three governments to cut down the budgets for the roads as more cargo would be transported by rail.

And Prof Chirwa said that the agreement was the beginning of a long road which would bring prosperity to all the three countries and the region as a whole.

He said it did not make sense for cargo from the region to be taking so long to reach the port of Dar es Salaam when the infrastructure was available.


Source: TAZARA

The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is a statutory institution owned by the two governments of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Zambia. TAZARA is incorporated by the Acts of Parliament of the two contracting sovereign states, with its Head Office located in Dar es Salaam in the United Republic of Tanzania. It has two regional offices one based in Mpika Zambia and the other in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. TAZARA is a railway line linking the Southern Africa Regional transport network to Eastern Africa, Asia and the Far East through the seaport of Dar es Salaam. It provides the shortest route to the middle and far East for landlocked Zambia through the seaport of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania via New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia, at which road and railway inter-connectivity is available to the rest of Southern Africa and other parts of Zambia, including the Copperbelt region and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

TAZARA railway


Zambia Railways Limited

The Zambia government, in February 2013, released a US$120 million grant to Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) to enable the railway firm to rehabilitate the railway network. Apart from reconstruction of the rail track, ZRL would build another railway line alongside the existing one from Chingola to Livingstone. About 608 miles (980km) of the railway line from Chingola to Livingstone would be rehabilitated in 3 years.

Video: Tanzania and Uganda signed agreement to link the countries in 2011


East Africa


Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam

Dar es Salaam





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