The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) is a viable venture that still has an important role to play in the future development of Zambia and Tanzania, the Chinese Ambassador to Zambia, Yang Youming has said.
Ambassador Yang observed that there was a bigger role for TAZARA to play in future, not only in social economic development, but also in terms of the relationships amongst the states of China, Tanzania and Zambia as well as in the relationship between China and Africa as a whole.
The Ambassador was speaking at New Kapiri-Mposhi last Friday, 9 October 2015, when he accompanied retired Professor Yang Jiemian from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies on a tour of TAZARA. The delegation took a ceremonial 20km test-ride from New Kapiri-Mposhi to Luanshimba.
Ambassador Yang revealed that the Chinese government was still discussing with the Tanzanian and Zambian governments on how best to revive TAZARA and make it operate profitably.
“The three governments China, Tanzania and Zambia are still discussing together on how best to bring the railway line to life and make it run profitably, although it may take sometime to arrive at lasting solutions to the challenges facing the railway,” Ambassador Yang stated.
Ambassador Yang said he was optimistic that a lasting solution to the many operational challenges the railway firm was facing would soon be found.
And speaking later, Prof. Yang Jiemian, who is an expert in International Relations and Global Development, said the Chinese government attached great value to the symbolic importance of TAZARA.
Prof. Yang who led a five-man team of experts from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said TAZARA was a symbol for the realization of the China, Zambia and Tanzania co-operation.
The professor disclosed that the team of International Relations experts was visiting Kapiri-Mposhi to have a feel of the line and get acquainted with operational challenges.
Prof. Yang said should the Zambian and Tanzanian governments wish to have trains with the same speed or faster than those trains in China, the Chinese people and government would be ready to do whatever the two nations ask them to do for TAZARA.
Reported by Ernest Mwape
Public Relations Officer, Mpika, Zambia
(Photos courtesy Tazara website.)