Tazara railway.

AFRICA: Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority and major customer Impala Warehousing & Logistics International signed a memorandum of understanding on January 21 which could lead to the private company running its own trains.

The planned track access agreement would mark the beginning of private sector participation in the operations of Tazara, reflecting the desire of the Tanzanian and Zambian governments to reduce the need for state funding of their jointly-owned railway.

Netherlands-based Impala is the warehousing and logistics subsidiary of Trafigura group, and specialises in storing, processing and transporting metals, minerals and high value bulk commodities. It has appointed Vecturis as its planned operator, and the Belgian company is to undertake technical and operational due diligence within 90 days.

'We are here to add value to Tazara and, in the process, we know that we shall gain tremendous efficiency in the delivery of services to our global customers', said Vecturis Managing Director Eric Peiffer.