By Nation Reporter
THE Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) needs about US$250 million of investments in the short term and about US$1.2 billion in the long term, if TARAZA was to get back to peak performance, says managing director Bruno Ching’andu.
Mr Ching’andu called on private investors to partner with TAZARA in order to achieve the desired investments, saying the two shareholding governments were in the process of revising the TAZARA Act in order to make the company more commercially viable and attractive to private players.
He said with that level of investment in the track, equipment and rolling stock, the target was a breakeven volume of freight of 600,000 tonnes per annum in the short-run and two million tonnes in the next five years.
“The private sector can take advantage of the public-private partnership models to partner with us in the running of the Dar es Salaam commuter train, whose demand is massive and cannot be satisfied at the moment.
‘‘We are also open to public-private partnership in the installation of the signaling and telecommunication systems, which have been vandalised over the years and are currently non-existent,” he said.
Mr Ching’andu was speaking when he made a presentation to the 7th East and Central Africa roads and rail summit 2016 in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday this week.
He also highlighted the public-private partnership investment opportunities in TAZARA’s quarries and workshops which he said had a huge potential but required re-investment in equipment.
Mr Ching’andu said TAZARA had taken measures in the last six months to reclaim the market share of the available cargo destined to or originating from Malawi, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which was directly captive to TAZARA.
“Amongst the measures, TAZARA had transformed the application of freight rates by adopting a more flexible tariff regime that was responsive to macro-economic conditions and market trends, he said.
He said the firm had also enhanced rebranding efforts, position itself closer to the customers and forging strategic alliances with neighbouring railway operators, the Port of Dar es Salaam, shippers and other logistics firms.
Mr Ching’andu said TAZARA’s most desired goal was to make meaningful contributions to the development of the economies of Tanzania and Zambia.
“With the current level of interactions and closer dealings with the various stakeholders, we are optimistic that TAZARA’s huge potential to contribute to the economies of Tanzania and Zambia will be realized soon,” he said.
He said that not only was he aware that TAZARA required substantial investment in many areas in order to achieve the goals that had been set out, but he was also confident that there were enough interventions in the pipeline to address the challenges that would enable TAZARA to perform at its peak.