Amid growing geopolitical tensions over the control of trading routes for critical minerals in Africa, China has chosen the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) to negotiate a concession to operate the Tanzania-Zambia Railway line.
It is expected to give a much-needed lifeline to the almost 50-year-old railway, also known as Tazara, which was originally funded by Mao Zedong’s government as a foreign aid project.
CCECC, a subsidiary of the China Railway Construction Corporation, is expected to negotiate a public-private partnership concession in the form of a build-operate-transfer model with Tanzania and Zambia to operate Tazara. It is also expected to upgrade the railway – which Chinese President Xi Jinping has called “a symbol of China-Africa friendship” – at an estimated cost of US$1 billion.