Friday, March 1, 2024

Angola wants to link TAZARA to Lobito

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Plans to build a trans-African railway between the ports of Dar es Salaam in the east of the continent and Lobito in the west have been proposed by Sandri De Oliveira, Angola’s ambassador to Tanzania.

De Oliveira was speaking in Dar at an event to mark the 45th anniversary of Angola’s independence from Portugal.

He said the railway corridor would connect the two countries through Zambia, allowing for the transit of goods from markets in America, Asia and Europe.

The project would involve building a narrow-gauge (1,067mm) railway between Lobito in Angola to the Zambian border.

The line would then be extended through Zambia as far as the central town of Kapiri Mposhi.
This is the western terminus of the Tazara rail line, built by the Chinese in the 1970s.

The ambassador commented: “In order to have the railway link with Tanzania, the Angolan government would construct a new railway line into Zambia that would further link to the 1,860 km Tanzania–Zambia Railway.”

He added that Angola was counting on “Tanzania’s collaboration in this effort”.

At present, Angola’s economy depends overwhelmingly on exports to China – in 2018 these accounted for more than $25bn, more than its exports to the rest of the world combined, and consisted mainly of oil.

There is almost no trade between Angola and Tanzania.

In 2015, Tanzania exported less than $5m to Angola, and Angola less than $500,000 worth of goods to Tanzania.

The lack of commercial contact is partly due to the difficulties in overland transport by road, especially in Zambia, during the rainy season.

A rail link would provide each country with access to each other’s markets, as well as improved access to global buyers.

Angola, which has a per capita income around three times greater than Tanzania and more than double that of Zambia, would be likely to shoulder most of the work in organising the link.

20 COMMENTS

  1. This railway line is long overdue. Zambia as a land linked country will stand to benefit. The port at Dar es Salaam seems not capable of efficient handling of cargo and obviously an opening to Angola will offer a very important alternative. HE Enoch Percy Kavindele must update the nation on why the North Western Railway project has stalled. Further Govt must ensure that it implements the new guidelines on road freight. Sometimes what we pay for inland courier of goods when we import especially from China is higher than what we pay up to Durban. Besides crime is making South Africa less attractive for business. I now opt for Dar or Walvis Bay as the alternative. So let’s actualize this proposal from Angola quickly

  2. Great project! The volume of goods will keep increasing with marketing and industrialization. Travelers will also enjoy the landscape of the region. Today Indian Ocean, tomorrow Atlantic Ocean. Tourism will also be propelled by improved connectivity. It colonial mentality to keep Atlantic Ocean closed from Indian Ocean. The time to correct past mistakes is now. Work hard t make ream become reality.

  3. Its only sensible that such a railline is constructed. If I remember NEPAD wanted to encourage just such intra africa trade facilitating projects. There are no rail or road connections between neighbouring African countries but there are direct flights to ex colonial masters. Imagine Angola doesnt trade with Tanzania which is some 1500 kilometres away but it trades with China over 10,000 kilometres away! Thats just how the mentally enslaved African political leadership is wired to think: we cant cooperate with each other in any endeavour but want to cooperate with those from afar. South Africa thinks its trading partners are the EU but it would benefit more from trading within SADC or Africa

  4. Great thinking but without our Zambian leaders present. A railway line from Lobito to Chingola, via Cazombo and Mwinilunga (1, 700 km) would be the best and most economically efficient transport system ever built in Zambia. One can never understand why goods going to Europe and Asia had to go south first. Allowing for the colonial shenanigans, soon after independence of these portuguese colonies, we should have started talking. Lusaka to Nacala in Mozambique via Chipata and Lilongwe would have boosted the economies of the east. Mongu, unfortunately cannot be easily connected to Angola but to Mwinilunga.

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  5. The fact that since the 70s, 80s, 90s till now we haven’t invested in railway lines baffles me. We could’ve had railway lines cris crossing Zambia by now. Even now, you have to get a bus from Lusaka to Kapiri then get on a train to Dar, it’s not logical yet we have trains from Livingston to CB. Same way in TZ tazara stops and ends in Dar. We could join our lines with tazara, we can have Zimbabwe use the same line through Zambia out through Livingston to Victoria falls town in Zimbabwe.

  6. Angola and Tanzania are very serious about developmental products including maximizing costs on projects, Tanzania is the leading country in east and southern Africa with tangible projects that go together with real cost of a project.zambia will just be a drive through or rail through

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