To provide an alternative route to the ocean from Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) from the higher traffic Northern Corridor, which runs through Uganda and Kenya to the port of Mombasa, East Africa as a region agreed to form the Central Corridor Transit Transport Facilitation Agency (CCTTFA) in 2006 to turn a new page of efficiency on the route by 2020.
A renewed sense of urgency to get things done characterized the last inter-state council meeting of ministers from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania and DR Congo as they discussed how to make the central corridor, East Africa’s hotbed for trade. The meeting was held in the serenity of the Lake Kivu Serena Hotel in Rubavu District in 2015 that saw ministers approving more than 20 ambitious projects to be jointly implemented by the Central Corridor partners.
The Central Corridor is a transport and trading route located in East and Central Africa. Its end point is the Tanzanian port city of Dar es Salaam, where it connects to the rest of the world via shipping.
From Dar es Salaam, the corridor runs inland, serving the Tanzanian interior including its capital Dodoma and second city of Mwanza, as well as landlocked Rwanda & Burundi, and the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This route consists uses Tanzania's Central Line as well as connecting road networks.
Central Corridor project milestone as of July, 2018
It was on the 9th of July, 2018, when Tanzania Railways Corporation unveiled a cargo train service to Uganda through the Lake Victoria ports of Mwanza and Port Bell. The East African member country is developing roads, ports and railways to attract more business along the Central Corridor.
The project which is part of the Central Corridor is aimed at facilitating transportation of cargo to and from the port of Dar es Saalam through Mwanza port in Tanzania. The train will connect the port of Dar es Salaam to Uganda through Tabora and Isaka in western Tanzania, then Mwanza port by ships plying the lake.
Tanzania Railways Corporation terminal at the Dar es Salaam port can handle 4.1 million tonnes of dry cargo and six million tonnes of bulk liquid cargo. It serves Malawi, Zambia, DR Congo, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. On the same project, Uganda is building a new port on Bukasa Island and rehabilitating the 11km road from Port Bell to Kampala as well as refurbishing 250 train wagons to transport goods through the Central Corridor.
Dar es Salaam has a cargo ship, MV Umoja, for Uganda-destined cargo while Uganda has MV Kaawa. Each ship can carry up to 880 tonnes in 44 and 20 feet containers, taking 17 hours from Mwanza to Port Bell.
The kind of freight transport expected along the Central Corridor
Tanzania Railways Corporation acting director-general Focas Makoye said that 15,000 tonnes of foodstuff from the World Food Programme will be ferried from Dar es Salaam to Uganda at the end of July. “We are working with the Uganda Railways Corporation to open up the Kampala route,” he said.
According to Tanzania Port Authority, the rates will increase to $70 from $60 per tonne for containers from Uganda transported through Port Bell in Luzira via Mwanza to Dar es Salaam, while containers from the Dar es Salaam Port via Mwanza to Kampala will be charged $75.
Other mobility projects in relation to the Central Corridor route Initiative
Feasibly the most exciting of the projects is the proposed multi-billion dollar standard gauge railway connecting Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo to Dar es Salaam port whose construction was launched on the 30th of August, 2015. The standard gauge railway is expected to replace the central line built in 1911. For which we already see as a success in Kenya as we await on the rest of the partner country member states.
By Joseph Semuju
Community Manager - AMO
African Mobilities Observatory - AMO, MICHELIN.