China express interest to support Tanzania build the longest bridge in Africa

Tanzania’s Deputy Minister of Labor and Transport discusses the progress of negotiations with potential investors. co-operation with the business sector to facilitate the bridge construction was highly highlighted. President Samia Suluhu Hasan’s interest in intra-African trade is spurring Tanzania’s ambitious infrastructure projects.

Tanzania plans to build Africa’s first 50 km bridge linking the mainland with the Zanzibar Islands to facilitate the movement of people and trade. This was announced by Deputy Minister for Labor and Transport Jeffrey Kasekenya today in Parliament on April 28th.

He also noted that negotiations, which began on March 11, 2023, were already well under way. Potential investors from M/S China Overseas Engineering Group Company (COVEC) expressed interest in supporting the bridge construction, which both sides welcomed, Kasekenya said.

He noted that the idea of ​​building the bridge would involve a partnership with the business sector and both parties in mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar were still working on the outcome of the meeting. He was answering questions from Mwantum Daw Haji (CCM Special Seats ) who wanted to know when construction of the bridge would begin.

The concept of a bridge first emerged in 2020 when Tanzanians living abroad proposed a sea bridge connecting 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.

Additionally, Tanzania recently submitted a request for proposals in cooperation with Burundi to design and build an electrified railway that will first connect the two countries and pass through the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

President Hassan’s approach to business governance has strengthened the country’s foreign direct investment and economic partnerships, earning it a reputation as Africa’s fastest-growing economy in just two years.

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