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Tanzania Turns to China for Standard Gauge Railway Financing

The meeting between Tanzania and Exim Bank China comes week since a similar meeting with SINOSURE who commited to provide finance for the rail

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Tanzania’s Finance Minister, Mwigulu Nchemba, and experts from the Ministry, held an online meeting with the President of Exim Bank China, Ren Shengiun on June 05,2024, to discuss financing for Tanzania’s development projects. The Ministry highlighted the ongoing construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) as a key area for Exim Bank’s support.

The Tanzanian delegation included Deputy Permanent Secretary Amina Khamis Shaaban, Commissioner for External Finance Rished Bade, and Assistant Commissioner for Resource Mobilization Tiba E. Kisonga.

This meeting follows a recent discussion between the Tanzanian Finance Minister and officials from the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (SINOSURE) in May 21,2024. SINOSURE has committed to financing lot five of the SGR, which stretches from Isaka to Mwanza (341 km), and lot six, from Tabora to Kigoma (506 km). These segments are being constructed by Chinese firms CCEC and CRCC at costs of USD 1.3 billion and USD 2.7 billion, respectively.

READ MORE: Infographic: Inside the Tanzania’s USD 10.04 Billion Railway

The total cost of constructing Tanzania’s SGR is estimated at USD 10 billion. The first four lots are being constructed with Turkish firm Yapi Merkez at a cost of USD 6 Billion. Tanzania has already started testing of its firs lot from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma.

Some of the known lenders of the SGR include Credit Suisse,Eastern&S.African Trade & Dev Bank-TDB and Standard Chartered.

Exim Bank China is the largest international creditor to Tanzania, with a total debt stock of TSh 3.9 trillion. Much of this debt financed the construction of a gas pipeline from Mtwara to Dar es Salaam.

The latest meeting is the second meeting between Tanzania and Exim China, in August 18, 2023, the two parties met in China for similar discussions.

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