Tanzania is pushing forward with plans to build a 50km bridge connecting Dar es Salaam with Zanzibar Island to ease the movement of people and cargo.
The Tanzania bridge project, whose plan was floated in 2020, is likely to be actualized following recent revelations that Dar es Salaam was discussing the project with a Chinese contractor on how to proceed with the development.
According to Tanzania’s deputy minister for Works and Transport Geofrey Kasekenya, China Overseas Engineering Group Company (COVEC) is interested in building the bridge and has been in talks with the government since March 11.
Mr. Kasekenya told Parliament on April 28 that stakeholders on both mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar were expected to release a timeline for the project.
At 50km, the Tanzania-Zanzibar bridge will on completion in 2028 become the longest bridge in Africa, ahead of the upcoming Fourth Mainland Bridge in Nigeria.
The yet-to-be-named bridge will be more than fifty times longer than the nearly 1km-long Mkapa Bridge, which spans the Rufiji River, Tanzania’s longest river.
The government of Tanzania has estimated that the bridge will cost $2.7 billion.
Dar es Salaam intends to fund the project through a public-private partnership and has already secured some funding from the African Development Bank.
The Fourth Mainland Bridge, which is being undertaken by a consortium led by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation, is estimated to cost $2.5 billion.
The two bridges are expected to propel Africa onto the global stage of remarkable long conduits as they unite distant lands.
The 6th October Bridge, a 20.5km bridge on River Nile in Cairo, Egypt, holds the title of the longest bridge in Africa and stands as the continent’s sole super bridge.
The continent lacks long bridges compared to the rest of the world, thanks to the absence of obstacles like deep canyons that would necessitate their installation.
In America, for example, there are more than 10 bridges that surpass 10 kilometres in length due to the presence of diverse terrains that necessitate their construction to improve connectivity.