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AfDB approves $365m for road, rail projects in Tanzania

TANZANIA is set to receive 364. 38 million US dollar loan from African Development Bank (AfDB), to support her ‘s ambitious infrastructure projects.

The bank said in a statement that it has approved a US $75.43-million concessional loan and a US $270.95-million loan to finance the Transport Sector Support Programme which involves interventions in the country’s roads, rail and air transport sub-sectors.

Identified as a key part of the country’s transport sector priorities to support economic development, the programme includes the rehabilitation and upgrading of nearly 500 kilometres of roads to bitumen standard in Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar Island.

The programme involves also capacity building and construction of social infrastructure as well as studies in railway and air transport sub-sectors.

The development of Tanzania’s transport sector will make it possible for the country to develop its vast natural resources including agriculture and tourism and promote economic growth to help attain its aspirations to attain middle income status as enshrined in the country’s Vision 2025.

Support for infrastructure projects will help to unlock great potential of Tabora, Katavi and Ruvuma regions which delivers only fraction of their full agricultural potential due mainly to lack of infrastructure.

“Thus, the target beneficiaries include farming communities in the two regions where about 90 per cent of the population is engaged in agriculture, and where the road network remains relatively underdeveloped compared to the rest of the country.

In Zanzibar, the road improvements will benefit communities engaged in the tourist and agriculture sectors,” the statement reads in part. Under the social infrastructure component, the project will provide sanitation facilities at hospitals, schools and markets, fish-drying and bee-keeping facilities, upgrade of access roads to hospitals, and construct a jetty for fishing communities in Zanzibar.

They will also serve as links between Tanzania and the neighbouring countries of Malawi and Mozambique through the Mtwara Corridor and Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), through the Tunduma/Nakonde border and Kasanga Port, respectively, and will benefit cross-border trade.

The project, to be implemented in five years, is estimated to cost US $384.29 million. The Bank’s contribution represents 88 per cent of total costs while the government will provide the remaining 12 per cent.

Source: Daily News

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