Strategic location on the East Coast of India: Visakhapatnam Port is located on the East Coast of India, which is an ideal location for trade with countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific region.


Modern infrastructure: The port has modern infrastructure, including a deep draft harbor, multiple berths, and a modern container terminal. These facilities allow the port to handle large vessels and a variety of cargo.

Strong connectivity: The port has strong connectivity with the rest of the country through roads, railways, and air transportation. This enables efficient transportation of cargo to and from the port.

Diverse range of cargo handled: Visakhapatnam Port handles a diverse range of cargo, including dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, and containerized cargo. This diversity helps to reduce the risk of relying on a single type of cargo.

Dedicated freight corridor: The port is connected to the East Coast Dedicated Freight Corridor, which enables efficient transportation of cargo by rail.

Support from government: The government of Andhra Pradesh has provided strong support to the development of Visakhapatnam Port, including investments in infrastructure and tax incentives for investors.

Special Economic Zone: The port has a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) located within its precincts, which provides investors with tax and regulatory benefits.

Public-Private Partnership model: The port is developed and operated under a Public-Private Partnership model, which involves private sector participation in the development and management of the port.

Investment by leading port operators: Leading port operators, including DP World and APM Terminals, have invested in the development of Visakhapatnam Port, which has helped to increase efficiency and competitiveness.

Strong hinterland connectivity: The port has strong connectivity with the hinterland through roads and railways, which enables efficient transportation of cargo to and from the port.


The role played by the great lakes and St. Lawrence seaway in the economies of the USA and Canada

  • Boost to trade. After completion in 1858, it has enabled the two countries to have accessibility to raw materials like iron ore from Mesabi range west of lake Superior, wheat and timber from the Canadian Prairies

  • It has led to industrial development in the area. The production of HEP in the dams along the seaway has stimulated the development of industries like grain milling, saw milling, paper and steel industries.
The role played by the great lakes and St. Lawrence seaway in the economies of the USA and Canada
  • Improved navigation. It provides cheap means of transport along the 3800km stretch of seaway for both exports and imports thus encouraging internal and external trade
  • HEP production. The dams constructed along the route (like Iroquois, Beauhrnois, Moses Saunders, Niagara and Sault St. Marie) provide hydroelectric power for both domestic and industrial use
  • Development of towns. It has led to the growth of ports and towns like Montreal, Ottawa, Port Authur, Duluth, Prescott and Kingston along the route. These have become focal points for various economic activities.
  • Promotion of tourism. The seaway with some of the most beautiful and fascinating sceneries in the world is a tourist attraction that generates income in the region. Niagara Falls is a favourite site for tourists from all over the world

  • Creation of employment opportunities. The sea way has created employment opportunities in the transport industry and thus raised the standards of living of the people in the area.
  • The lakes and the dam area a source of water for both domestic and industrial use
  • The countries earn some revenue from charges levied on ships that use the route.


Role of transport and communication in the economic development of Africa

  • Promotes industrial development. Means of transport influence the location of a given industry as they influence raw material availability, labour mobility and market accessibility for finished goods. Accessible areas are likely to attract more industrial establishments.
Role of transport and communication in the economic development of Africa
Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

  • Promotes local and international trade. Expanded transport and communication in Africa has opened new trade areas and markets and encouraged mass production. Trade within Africa and the rest of the world has been enhanced by improved transport.
  • Promotes tourism. Air transport is instrumental in transporting tourists to various game parks throughout Africa. Other tourists visit Africa via cruise ships.
  • Opens up remote areas for exploitation. Remote areas with vast forest and mineral resources have been opened up for exploitation through the establishment of transport and communication networks.
  • Enhances interaction among people. The development of transport and communication has increased human contact thus leading to exchange of technology and promoting understanding among people.
  • Creation of employment opportunities. Transport and communication are themselves individual industries that employ millions of people in sera routes, air routes, rail lines and roadways.
  • Development of urban centres. Some towns develop along major highways while others develop at road junctions.

  • Promotion of national image. In some countries, the government operates national airlines to promote the image of the countries e.g the Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines and air Nigeria.



In this article, we will delve into the challenges that the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA) is currently confronting. TAZARA, a vital transportation link between Tanzania and Zambia, has encountered several significant issues that affect its operations and efficiency.

These problems encompass various aspects of the railway’s functioning, including infrastructure, financial sustainability, management, and external factors. Understanding these challenges is essential to finding effective solutions that can help revitalize and ensure the long-term viability of this critical railway connection between the two countries.

The following are Problems facing the Tazara railway.

1. Very expensive to maintain due to long distance of 1860km from Dar-es-salaam to Lusaka:

The extensive length of the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA), spanning 1860 kilometers from Dar-es-Salaam to Lusaka, poses a significant challenge in terms of maintenance costs. Covering such a vast distance requires substantial resources to ensure the tracks, signaling systems, bridges, and other infrastructure components remain in safe and operational condition. The sheer scale of the railway makes it more challenging to inspect, repair, and upgrade the infrastructure regularly. These maintenance costs can strain the financial resources allocated to TAZARA, diverting funds that could be used for other developmental purposes.

2. Its slowness has limited its usage affecting benefits and business potential:

The relatively slow operational speed of TAZARA’s trains has led to limitations in its overall usage and impact on business potential. Slower travel times for both passengers and freight significantly hinder the competitiveness of the railway compared to other modes of transportation. This sluggishness reduces the attractiveness of TAZARA as a transportation option for businesses and individuals, affecting its ability to capture a larger share of the market and contribute more effectively to economic growth and development in the region.

3. Changing political priorities of the two governments (Zambia and Tanzania):

The evolving political priorities of the governments of Zambia and Tanzania can impact the level of support and investment allocated to TAZARA. Political shifts and changes in leadership can lead to varying degrees of commitment to the railway project. Fluctuations in government interest and funding can result in inconsistent policy decisions, delays in implementing necessary reforms, and an uncertain environment for TAZARA’s long-term planning and development.

4. Inadequate funds to buy new wagons, spare parts hence reducing on the commodities carried:

The lack of sufficient funds for procuring new wagons and spare parts has a direct impact on TAZARA’s operational efficiency and capacity. Without regular investment in rolling stock and spare parts, the railway faces limitations in the volume of goods it can transport. Reduced capacity hampers the ability to meet the demand for freight services, stifling potential revenue streams and hampering its ability to support economic activities in the regions it serves.

5. Withdrawal of the Beijing government support from fully funding the project:

The initial investment of 400 million dollars by the Beijing government was crucial for TAZARA’s establishment, but subsequent changes in funding commitments have created challenges. The withdrawal or reduction of financial support from the Beijing government has forced TAZARA to seek alternative sources of funding, which may not be readily available or as substantial. This situation can impact ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and expansion efforts, potentially limiting TAZARA’s ability to adapt to changing market dynamics.

6. Prone to hijackers who steal items being transported, vandalizing wagons parts and rails:

The security challenges along TAZARA’s route, including hijacking incidents and vandalism, pose serious threats to both the safety of the railway operations and the cargo being transported. These criminal activities can lead to disruptions in services, damage to rolling stock and infrastructure, and safety concerns for passengers and crew members. Addressing these security issues requires additional investments in security personnel, surveillance systems, and preventive measures to ensure the smooth operation of the railway.

7. Occurrence of accidents due to de-railing damaging wagons, goods being transported, etc:

The occurrence of accidents, particularly derailments, poses a significant risk to TAZARA’s operations and safety record. Derailments can lead to damage to wagons, loss of goods being transported, and disruptions to services. These accidents not only result in financial losses but also impact the reputation and reliability of the railway. Ensuring proper maintenance, infrastructure upgrades, and adherence to safety protocols are crucial to mitigate the risk of accidents and their subsequent impacts.



In this article, we will explore the advantages of the Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA). This railway project, connecting Tanzania and Zambia, brings with it a range of benefits for both countries. From facilitating trade and boosting economic growth to enhancing regional connectivity and promoting cultural exchange, TAZARA plays a crucial role in shaping the development and cooperation between Tanzania and Zambia. This essay will delve into the positive impacts of TAZARA on transportation, commerce, and the overall progress of these nations.


1. Strengthened Political and Social Ties

The Tanzania Zambia Railway (TAZARA) has played a crucial role in strengthening political and social ties among Tanzania, Zambia, and China. Through this cross-border infrastructure project, these nations have collaborated and developed a close relationship, fostering diplomatic cooperation and cultural exchange. The joint endeavor of constructing and operating the railway has not only connected the countries physically but also deepened their bilateral relationships, leading to mutual understanding and cooperation.

2. Reliable Access Route for Zambia

TAZARA has provided landlocked Zambia with a reliable access route to the Indian Ocean. Before the railway’s construction, Zambia faced challenges in exporting and importing goods due to its lack of direct sea access. The railway has significantly reduced transportation costs, transit times, and dependence on neighboring countries for trade routes. This improved connectivity has bolstered Zambia’s economic growth and stability.

3. Stimulated Mineral Exploration and Exploitation

The railway has stimulated mineral exploration and exploitation in both Zambia and Tanzania. With improved transportation infrastructure, mining companies have gained easier access to remote mineral-rich areas. This has led to increased extraction of valuable resources like copper in Zambia and iron ore, coal, and diamonds in Tanzania. The railway’s presence has been a catalyst for the growth of these critical industries, driving economic development in the region.

4. Promotion of Plantation Agriculture

TAZARA has promoted plantation agriculture in southern Tanzania, particularly in areas like the Kilombero Valley. The availability of efficient transportation has facilitated the movement of agricultural products to markets and processing centers. This has encouraged the cultivation of crops such as rice and sugar cane, leading to increased agricultural productivity and economic growth in the region.

5. Development of Ports

The railway’s existence has contributed to the growth and development of ports like Dar es Salaam, which serves as an entry port for trade. The efficient transportation of goods via the railway has enhanced the port’s significance as a gateway to international markets. This has not only increased the throughput of goods but also boosted trade-related activities and economic opportunities in the port city.

6. Promotion of Industrialization

TAZARA has played a pivotal role in promoting industrialization in southern Tanzania and northern and central Zambia. By facilitating the movement of raw materials and finished products, the railway has supported the growth of industries such as copper refineries in Zambia. The availability of an efficient transportation network has encouraged the establishment and expansion of various manufacturing and processing facilities in the region.

7. Facilitation of Importation of Machinery

The railway has eased the importation of machinery, which is crucial for industries like copper mining in Zambia and coal mining in Tanzania. The efficient transportation of heavy machinery and equipment has reduced logistical challenges and costs associated with bringing in vital resources for these industries. This has directly contributed to the growth and sustainability of key sectors within both countries’ economies.

8. Job Creation in the Railway Sector

The establishment of TAZARA has led to job creation in the railway sector, particularly in roles such as train captains and station managers. The operation and maintenance of the railway have generated employment opportunities for local communities along the railway line. This has not only provided livelihoods for individuals but also contributed to the overall economic development of the region.

9. Opening Remote Areas to Trade and Development

One of the most significant impacts of TAZARA has been opening up remote areas of northern Zambia and southern Tanzania to trade and development. These previously isolated regions have gained access to markets, services, and opportunities that were previously difficult to reach. The railway has transformed these areas into hubs for trade, commerce, and economic growth, thereby improving the quality of life for local populations.



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.



It should be noted that transport sector has got negative contributions to Uganda’s development. These include;

  • It pollutes air, water and land through fumes by vehicles, trains, ships and other water vessels pollute water from oil spills which endangers aquatic life and water quality.
  • Many accidents occur on roads such as Kampala-Masaka, Kampala-Jinja, on L. Albert and Victoria killing many important people and loss of property. Such human resource would have been used for Uganda’s development.
  • During the construction of transport routes many people are displaced loosing property and investments e.g. the construction of the Northern-by-pass around Kampala and the 1998 expansion of Entebbe road displaced many people in Namasuba, Nalya, Bwaise, Namuwongo, etc.
  • Forests have been cleared in the process of constructing roads and railway lines, airstrips, etc. parts of Mabira in Mukono were cleared to construct Kampala-Jinja road.

  • The construction of transport routes and their maintenance is costly. This necessitates Uganda to depend on neo-colonialists since the billions required are provided by the World Bank and the other bodies with a lot of interests.
  • Floods have resulted in the spread of diseases like bilharzia, cholera, and dysentery which result from the construction of roads like the Northern-by-pass in Bwaise and Namugoona.
  • Other negative contributions are regional imbalances created, smuggling especially by water transport, and profit repatriation by the foreign companies which construct and maintain the transport routes.