DAR ES SALAAM, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- A senior official with the World Bank on Friday acknowledged the standard gauge railway (SGR) project being undertaken by the government of Tanzania using local resources, saying it was a vital economic link.
Anne Kabagambe, the World Bank's Executive Director for Africa Group, praised President John Magufuli after she had visited construction of the SGR between the business capital Dar es Salaam and Morogoro region, said a statement by the Ministry of Finance and Planning.
Kabagambe said the project being constructed by a Turkish company called Yapi Merkezi will, upon completion, act as an economic link between Tanzania and other African countries, said the statement.
"I have been impressed by measures being taken by President Magufuli toward the implementation of this mega project by using local funding," said the official.
She said she will consult with the World Bank and other international financial institutions to see how they can support Tanzania toward the construction of the SGR.
"This SGR project will definitely open socio-economic opportunities for the African region," said Kabagambe.
Felix Nlalio, the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) director for Infrastructure, said the construction of the first phase of the SGR from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro region covering 300 kilometers started on May 2, 2017 and will be completed on Nov. 2, 2019 at a cost of 2.7 trillion Tanzanian shillings (about 1.2 billion U.S. dollars).
Nlalio said upon completion of the construction of the SGR project, transport along the central corridor covering Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda will improve tremendously.