Tanzania 2018 | TRANSPORT | REVIEW

A USD346.38-million fund is set to bolster Tanzania's transport sector by improving infrastructure and thus optimizing trade relationships and commercial activities.

In 2015, the African Development Bank approved a five-year, USD346.38-million fund for Tanzania's Transport Sector Support Programme (TSSP). The project will oversee the improvement of 500km of road across Tanzania. In its Implementation Strategy of the Transport Policy of 2011-2025, Tanzania sets forth objectives for the sector's infrastructure: boost rail freight to 2.3 million tons per year by 2018 and 4 million tons by 2023; expand sea and lake port cargo handling by 50% until 2020; increase the passenger and cargo capacity of Julius Nyerere International Airport; reduce city congestion; develop more effective intermodal transport links; and encourage public-private partnerships.


Roads are the main form of transportation in Tanzania, accounting for more than 90% of passengers and 75% of freight. From the second quarter of 2015 to the second quarter of 2016, road passengers in Tanzania increased by 32%, from 8,750 to 11,546. Tanzania's roads stretch 86,472km, encompassing 12,786km of trunk roads, 21,105km of regional roads, and 52,581km of district, urban, and feeder roads. Some 19% of Tanzania's national roads and 2% of its district roads were paved as of 2013.


In Tanzania's south and northwest regions of Tabora, Katavi, and Ruvuma, major crops are cultivated but face infrastructural bottlenecks that prevent them from reaching markets. Upgrades to the Tabora-Koga-Mpanda road will tackle this problem. The unpaved, gravel trunk road is located in the Tabora and Rukwa regions of western Tanzania and treks through flat and rolling terrain. During rainy seasons, the road is semi impassable. Its upgrade will see the construction of 40-50 horizontal curves and three by-passes at Inyonga, Sikonge, and Uruwira as well as a 355-km section of the road being improved to bitumen standards and a rehabilitation or replacement of 12 existing bridges, drifts, and culverts. The road's improvement will better connect agriculture regions to the rest of the country as well as regional markets, such as those in Kenya, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and South Sudan. The Mbinga-Mbamba Bay Road is also undergoing an upgrade to bitumen standards as well getting equipped with a new bypass at Mbinga town. The road is regarded as a pivotal connection between the Mtwara corridor and the Mbinga and Nyasa districts in southwest Tanzania, where the agricultural land utilization rate is just 42%.


The country has a network of 3,676km of railway lines, which are run by the Tanzania Railways Corporation and Tanzania-Zambia Railways. In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, the government budgeted USD455 million for the new Standard Gauge Railway project, a 2,190-km railway that will link high-output coal fields with Mtwara port and other East African countries. The project will take four phases over three years to complete and a total investment of USD6 billion.


Between 2010 and 2015, air travel passengers in Tanzania rose by 62% to 3.5 million. During this same time, air cargo transport rose by 7%. In Tanzania, there are 58 airports and more than 300 private airstrips owned by mining companies and tour operators. As of 2016, 21 airlines were operating out of Tanzania's Julius Nyerere International Airport, which accounts for 80% of the country's cargo capacity and 70% of Tanzania's air passengers. Tanzania has a 720-km coastline on the Indian Ocean. The Tanzania Ports Authority operates both sea and inland waterways in the country. The main seaport, which handles more than 92% of the total maritime port throughput, is Dar es Salaam, which has a capacity of 10.1 million tons per year and serves landlocked countries such as Malawi, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, and Uganda.