London-headquartered Standard Chartered bank last month agreed to lend Tanzania $1.46bn to help pay for part of an electrified standard gauge railway stretching from Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean inland to Rwanda.
Part of president John Magufuli’s ambitious plan to boost Tanzania’s economy, the 336km section will connect the inland town of Morogoro to Makutupora, on the northern outskirts of the capital, Dodoma.
A consortium of Turkish contractor YapÄ± Merkezi and Portuguese contractor Mota-Engil won the $1.9bn contract to build the Morogoro-Makutupora section in October last year.
The loan for this latest section was agreed at the end of August between Tanzania’s minister of finance and planning, Dr Philip Mpango, and Standard Chartered’s chief executive, Bill Winters, in Dar es Salaam.
"We have a great deal of confidence in Tanzania’s potential and the many economic opportunities we have," a ministry statement quotes Winters as saying.
YapÄ± Merkezi and Mota-Engil began work on the first leg of the railway, from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro, in April last year.
Photograph: Standard Chartered’s chief executive, Bill Winters (Standard Chartered Bank)