East African nations seek funding adviser for $4 bln railway

DAR ES SALAAM, April 16 Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:33am EDT

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DAR ES SALAAM, April 16 (Reuters) - Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi are looking for an adviser to help them secure financing for a $4.13 billion railway project aimed at boosting cross-border trade in the region.

The railway will link Tanzania's port city of Dar es Salaam with the capital cities of landlocked Rwanda and Burundi.

The Tanzanian transport ministry said the adviser would be required to assist the three governments in structuring the joint infrastructure deal, including investment options, marketing and providing investment risk advice.

The deadline for the submission of bids is Aug. 21.

"We have jointly done all the preliminary studies. With the completion of the detailed study recently, we are now on the procurement of a transaction advisor," the Tanzanian president Jakaya Kikwete said in a speech on Tuesday.

Tanzania, east Africa's second-biggest economy, plans to invest in new transport links to become a regional transport hub, Kikwete told Reuters last week.

Nations in the region are racing to build new roads, railways and power plants to make up for decades of severe under-investment.

In November last year neighbouring Kenya broke ground for the construction of a new rail line linking its proposed second port at Lamu with Uganda, Rwanda and other neighbouring states.

Tanzania and Kenya both have long coastlines and the planned investments are aimed at serving growing economies in the land-locked heart of Africa from Uganda to Malawi. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ngw'anakilala; Editing by Duncan Miriri, Greg Mahlich)

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