SGR gets 3tri/- financial boost

...Visiting Standard Chartered Bank Group Executive Director pledges soft loan

STANDARD Chartered Bank Group yesterday pledged a 1.4 billion US dollar (over 3.3tri/-) soft loan to Tanzania for construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Morogoro to Dodoma.

The good news follows talks between Finance and Planning Minister, Dr Philip Mpango and the bank’s Executive Director Bill Winters in Dar es Salaam, yesterday.

Dr Mpango appreciated the bank’s acceptance to finance the project that seeks to strengthen transportation of passengers and goods within the country and landlocked countries of the Great Lake Region.

“We are constructing the railway from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma through Morogoro in two phases...but we will also extend it to Isaka and Mwanza before stretching it to Rusumo from where our neighbours Rwanda will elongate it further to Kigali,” said the minister.

Dr Mpango told the visiting bank’s CEO that the country’s priorities include improvement of Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) and execution of Stiggler’s Gorge power project.

“We are strengthening our airline to support tourism sector because we have abundant tourist attractions but visitors from Europe are compelled to land in neighbouring countries before coming to Tanzania due to lack of direct flights,” he explained.

The minister noted that Tanzania is second after Brazil in the ranking of countries that are heavily endowed with tourist attractions.

But, despite the endowment, Tanzania receives hardly two million visitors annually, the situation which needs immediate measures to spur growth in the sector that has huge potentials to contribute more to the country’s economy through the foreign currencies.

He added that in reviving the company, the government has already purchased four planes, including the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and three more are expected in the country by June next year, bringing their total to seven.

Mr Winters commended Tanzania for the great success in economic growth, promising to provide the loan to the country.

“We believe in the ability of Tanzania which has huge economic potentials…you will definitely succeed in implementing the national development projects,” he said.

Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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