Tanzania plans to build Africa’s longest bridge to boost economic growth
Tanzania plans to construct the first bridge in Africa, spanning 50 kilometers, connecting the mainland to the Zanzibar Islands to facilitate the movement of people and commerce.
Geoffrey Kasekenya, the deputy minister of Works and Transport, said as much in Parliament today, April 28. He also mentioned that the negotiations, which started on March 11, 2023, are already far along
According to Kasekenya, the prospective investors of M/S China Overseas Engineering Group Company (COVEC) who have expressed interest in helping to build the bridge were met by both sides.
He noted that the idea for building the bridge will involve a partnership with the business sector and that both sides in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar are still working on the meeting’s outcome.
He was responding to a query from Mwantum Dau Haji (CCM Special Seats), who wanted to know when the bridge’s construction would begin.
The concept for the bridge initially surfaced in 2020, when Tanzanians living abroad proposed building a sea bridge to connect Unguja Island and Dar es Salaam.
Many citizens debated the idea, with some saying it was just a pipe dream. However, science and technology have shown that the 50-kilometer Zanzibar–Dar es Salaam Bridge project is feasible if funds are available.
This initiative is hardly a surprise owing to the fact that Tanzania’s president, Samia Suluhu Hassan, has made intra-Africa trade a huge agenda item for her administration. She has placed emphasis on improving trade relations between Tanzania and other East African countries, even going so far as to express interest in trading with West Africa.
Recently, the Tanzanian and Kenyan governments got into talks to build a railway linking both countries so as to reduce trade tariffs, reducing the bottom line of businesspeople in both countries.
Also, Tanzania, in partnership with Burundi, recently put out a request for proposals for the design and construction of an electrified railway that will initially connect the two nations and pass through the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
President Hassan’s business approach to governance has seen the country experience a massive boost in its foreign direct investments and economic partnerships, which, in the space of just two years, have given the country the reputation of being the fastest-growing economy in Africa.