The government of Burundi has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese firm Mango Tree Group Co Ltd to cooperate in the promotion of water transport on Lake Tanganyika.
Burundi’s Works and Transport Ministry said in a statement to ChimpReports on Friday that Lake Tanganyika “constitutes an opportunity for opening up the mainland and creating transport linkages between Burundi and Tanzania, to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to Zambia.”
Lake Tanganyika is uniquely placed to provide linkages between Tripartite Regional Economic blocks of EAC, COMESA and SADC and therefore a critical conduit not only for transport needs but also for wider economic benefits.
Burundi said it urgently needs ships capable of transporting goods and people through the ports of these three countries.
“To meet this need, Mango Tree Group Co Ltd offered to promote water transport on Lake Tanganyika through the construction of a mixed cargo and passenger boat to and from these different ports,” the statement reads in part.
Officials said the importance of infrastructure and efficient transport system to the regional economic development in the EAC remain imperative.
It is also apparent that required investment to deliver infrastructure projects to bridge the existing infrastructure deficit at a desired pace, cannot be achieved by respective Governments singlehandedly.