The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is currently reviewing the TAZARA Act of 1995 to allow private investments and commercialize the railway.
The announcement was made by Aunyisa Meena, Assistant Director at the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication of Tanzania, on August 24, 2016.
He explained that these reforms are needed in order for TAZARA to meet the current competition and remain commercially viable.
TAZARA Act 1995
According to the TAZARA Act of 1995 the funds of the Authority shall consist of such moneys as may:
- be appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Authority
- be paid to the Authority by way of services rendered
- be paid to the Authority by way of grants or donations
- vest in or accrue to the Authority
The Act further indicates that the Authority may:
- accept moneys by way of grants or donations from any source in Tanzania or Zambia and, subject to the approval of the Council, from any source outside Tanzania or Zambia
- subject to the approval of the Board, raise by way of loans or otherwise, such moneys as it may require for the discharge of its functions
- charge and collect fees in respect of programs, seminars, consultancy services, and other services provided by the Authority
TAZARA operates the Tanzania-Zambia railway since its inception in 1975.
China funded the project mainly to provide an alternative route to export copper from Zambia to Dar es Salaam.
In the 1990s, the economic performance of the railway began to decline and continued deteriorating over the next 20 years.
However, since 2010 China has been helping TAZARA to revive its operations. Still, TAZARA infrastructure cannot currently meet today’s development demand.
This is why revitalizing TAZARA is among the intentions of Tanzania, Zambia, and China.
In 2015–2016, TAZARA’s annual freight traffic reached 130,000t, from 87,000t in 2014–2015, representing an increase of 49%.