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Tanzania: Samia Says Loans Are Inevitable for Dar’s SGR Project

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President Samia Solo Hassan announced on Tuesday that the government will borrow additional funds necessary to complete the construction of the Standard Railroad (SGR) project instead of relying on fees or other internal revenue collection.

It said shortly after the signing of a US$1.98 billion construction agreement between Tanzanian Railways Corporation (TRC) and Turkey’s Yarp Merkez for a 368-kilometre standard railway extending from Makotobora to Tabora.

According to the president, there were secret efforts to stop development projects, but she said that “none of these efforts” would succeed. Tanzania is implementing a range of development projects ranging from SGR to revamping the national carrier to building a 2,115MW hydroelectric project.

“There is no developed country that does not borrow. We will borrow to ensure that our projects are completed,” she said, adding that most soft loans obtained vary up to 20 years – a period that may allow for needed returns.

With current trends, the president said it’s time for the country to consider connecting neighboring landlocked nations with the bullet train.

Tanzania has so far pumped over 14 trillion/- into new railway infrastructure and the Director General of Tanzania Railways Corporation (TRC) believes that passenger trains will be the only means of public transportation in the next 40 to 50 years due to the projected increase in the population across the country.

“This means that we must provide the necessary infrastructure, especially in cities, to accommodate the rapid population growth and the demand for transportation facilities,” he said.

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