In this article, we will explore the objectives of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway. The Tanzania-Zambia Railway, also known as TAZARA, was established with specific goals in mind. These goals aimed to foster economic development, improve transportation, and strengthen the trade between Tanzania and Zambia. By understanding the key objectives of TAZARA, we can gain insights into how this railway project has contributed to the growth and connectivity of both countries in Southern Africa.


1. Alternative Route to the Sea for Copper Export

Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) was established with the primary objective of providing Zambia with an alternative route to the sea, facilitating the smooth export of its valuable copper resources. The landlocked nature of Zambia posed transportation challenges, limiting its access to global markets. TAZARA’s railway line offered a direct link to the Indian Ocean, reducing dependency on other nations’ transportation infrastructure and potentially boosting Zambia’s economic growth through improved copper exports.

2. Development of Remote Resource-Rich Areas

Another critical objective of TAZARA was to unlock the potential of remote regions in southern Tanzania, abundant in coal and iron ore, as well as northern Zambia. By constructing a railway network through these areas, TAZARA aimed to facilitate the extraction, transport, and utilization of these valuable resources. This initiative could spur industrial development, create employment opportunities, and contribute to the economic growth of both countries.

3. Reduction of Transport Costs

TAZARA aimed to significantly reduce the transportation costs associated with importing and exporting goods to and from Zambia. The railway provided a more cost-effective and efficient means of transporting bulk commodities, manufactured goods, and other materials. By reducing reliance on road and other modes of transportation, TAZARA sought to enhance the competitiveness of Zambian exports and reduce the overall costs of trade.

4. Facilitating Mineral Exploration in Shaba Province

The establishment of TAZARA was also expected to pave the way for mineral exploration, particularly in the Shaba province of Zambia (now known as the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo). This region was known for its rich copper deposits. The railway provided a logistical link for transporting extracted minerals to processing facilities or export points, thereby promoting the development of the mining sector and contributing to the national economy.

5. Strengthening International and Regional Relations

Beyond economic objectives, TAZARA aimed to enhance international and regional relations between Tanzania and Zambia. The joint effort to establish and operate the railway fostered cooperation between the two countries, facilitating diplomatic ties and strengthening their bonds. The project exemplified cross-border collaboration, contributing to the stability and mutual benefits of the region. By fostering positive relations, TAZARA played a role in promoting peace and cooperation between Tanzania and Zambia.

In summary, the objectives of Tanzania Zambia Railways (TAZARA) were multifaceted, aiming to provide Zambia with improved access to global markets, stimulate economic growth in resource-rich regions, reduce transport costs, facilitate mineral exploration, and enhance diplomatic ties between Tanzania and Zambia. The railway project encompassed a range of strategic goals that spanned economic, industrial, and diplomatic dimensions.


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