Communique which was issued at the end of the meeting of the TAZARA Council of Ministers on 20 December 2014 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The meeting was attended by:
- Hon Dr Harrison Mwakyembe, MP, Minister of Transport, United Republic of Tanzania – Council Chairperson
- Hon Yamfwa Mukanga, MP, Minister of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Republic of Zambia – Council Co-Chairperson
- Hon Alexander Chikwanda, MP, Minister of Finance, Republic of Zambia
- Hon Abdallah Kigoda, MP, Minister of Trade and Industry, United Republic of Tanzania
- Hon. Robert Sichinga, MP, Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Republic of Zambia
- Hon Adam Malima, MP, Deputy Minister of Finance, United Republic of Tanzania
- Ms Monica Mwamunyange, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, United Republic of Tanzania – Board Chairperson
- Mr Charles Sipanje, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Works, Supply and Communication, Republic of Zambia – Board Co-Chairperson
- Board members of TAZARA
- Executive Management of TAZARA
TANZANIA-ZAMBIA RAILWAY AUTHORITY
ISSUED ON THE OCCASION OF THE 61ST MEETING OF THE TAZARA COUNCIL OF MINISTERS
We, the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) Council of Ministers, comprising the Ministers responsible for Transport, Finance and Industry in Tanzania and Zambia, meeting in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, this 20th Day of December 2014, do hereby declare as follows:
We re-affirm that although bi-national in nature, TAZARA is a unitary railway and shall remain so as originally founded by Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda and Chairman Mao Zedong, who are also the founding fathers of Tanzania, Zambia and China, respectively.
We recall, note and stress that since the 1960s when deliberations on the establishment of TAZARA commenced to date, the Authority has proved to be a strong symbol of unity and friendship amongst the three sovereign states and continues to be a foundation for and an example of unprecedented pan-African as well as Sino-Africa co-operation. This vision and status remains solidly intact.
We note that the performance of the Authority has fallen to record low levels of less than 300,000 tons of freight per year in the recent past from the peak of 1.2m tons per year in the late 1980s and that this situation calls for immediate remedial measures to resuscitate the company and save it from total collapse.
The dire need for re-investment in the Authority, in this regard, is well-acknowledged and receiving utmost active attention.
We have reviewed the progress in the implementation of the resolution of the Council at the last meeting in July 2014 where we agreed to provide funding of USD80 million for re-capitalisation and working capital requirements and do appreciate that so far the shareholders have released about USD6 million, which has been applied on paying salaries in both countries.
However, the Board of Directors has been directed to draw up a comprehensive and bankable business plan, by the end of January 2015 that would clearly map the future and ensure that the Authority becomes self-sustaining going forward.
In this regard, the Council resolves to immediately inject not less than USD25 million into the Authority, subject to an acceptable and bankable business plan being in place.
The two Governments remain fully committed to the financing of TAZARA operations and, nonetheless, urge the Board and Management to look for other more sustainable ways of financing the Authority by engaging the private sector.
Passenger and Freight Services
We have noted that the Management has implemented some changes in the operations of passenger and freight services but urge them to further review these operations and find ways of eliminating losses and improving the services.
The Council has directed that other operators such as Zambia Railways Limited should be allowed to run both passenger and freight services all the way through to Dar es Salaam and that TAZARA should equally be allowed to go all the way from Dar es Salaam to the Copperbelt, Lusaka or any part of Zambia.
In this regard, the Board has been directed to work out the modalities of allowing access of other operators into the TAZARA line by the end of January 2015 or even earlier.
We have noted the efforts made in implementing the decentralisation policy as directed by the Council at the last meeting in July 2014 and have now directed that further studies be undertaken to scrutinise the likely impacts and come up with options and recommendations on how best to embrace decentralisation by the end of February 2014.
Review of the TAZARA Act
We have noted that an attempt to review the TAZARA Act of 1995 in order to make the Authority more business-oriented has been made and urge the Board of Directors to speed up the process and have draft changes to the Act in place and submitted to the Chairperson of the Council by the end of December 2014.
The Council notes that positions for some senior executives of the Authority have been outstanding for too long and resolve to have all positions filled by the end of February 2015.
The TAZARA Council of Ministers