African tri-nation transport project to start Phase II

(Southern Africa Freight News, Johannesburg, 15 January) The African Development Bank-financed Tanzania-Burundi-DR Congo Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) Project has commenced to Phase 2. The bank's financing is intended to construct 651 kilometres on the Tanzania-Burundi railway line. The bank will provide $98.62 million to Burundi in the form of grants and $597.79m to Tanzania in loans and guarantees. As the Initial Mandate Lead Arranger, the bank will structure and mobilise financing of up to $3.2 billion from commercial banks, development financial institutions, export credit agencies and institutional investors. The total cost of the project both in Tanzania and Burundi is estimated at nearly $3.93bn. The construction of this railway will allow Burundi to intensify the exploitation of nickel, of which the country has the tenth-largest deposit in the world in the Musongati mining fields. The country also has resources such as lithium and cobalt,