TRANSPORT Ministers in Tanzania and Zambia have agreed in principle to award concessions for the rehabilitation and operation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway, subject to formal approval by the two governments. The agreement was reached on August 29 at a meeting in Ndola of the international council of ministers which oversees Tazara.

Zambian Transport Minister David Saviye is confident that Tazara ’has the capacity to run viably without any interference from both governments’, but that recent disagreements over policy ’threatened the company with closure.’ Acting Permanent Secretary at the Zambian ministry Bornwell Siakanomba says that possible structures for concessioning are already being discussed, and that tenders will be invited as soon as possible. He expects a single operating concession to be awarded to cover both countries, but says there may be scope for looking at a BOT approach pegged to investment in new infrastructure.

Former Zambia Railways General Manager Emmuanuel Hachipuka, who has been reviewing Tazara for the council of ministers, suggests that a new management structure will be needed to suit a liberalised transport market which saw freight traffic fall from 1·2 million tonnes in 1992-93 to 550000 tonnes in 1996-97 ’without any corresponding reduction in the railway’s 9000 staff’.

  • Zambia’s Privatisation Agency has appointed Rites to undertake a three-month review of the state of ZR assets, in preparation for the awarding of an operating concession by the end of this year (RG 9.99 p598).