The Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (Tazara) has signed a contract with a Chinese manufacturer for the manufacture and supply of 90 container wagons worth approximately US$5 million. The Chinese company was given eight months in which to manufacture and deliver the wagons which will be used in the transportation of containerised cargo and metals such as copper and manganese. Other components of the agreement are expected to follow including the supply of six new mainline locomotives, rehabilitation of three shunting locomotives and training of staff. Chinese ambassador to Zambia Li Qiangmin was quoted as saying that Tazara was a symbol of friendship between Zambia and China and his country was saddened by problems the company was facing. “We are sending a technical team to Tazara to investigate the problems and help them improve efficiency,” the envoy said. Tanzania’s Infrastructure Development Minister Shukuru Kawambwa was quoted as saying that the Chinese financing was intended to save Tazara from total collapse as the company had been experiencing major operational and financial problems with a debt burden of over US$100 million – Guardian.

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