THE government yesterday signed a 414bn/- loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for financing road projects in the county’s capital, Dodoma.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Planning Doto James and AfDB Country Manager Alex Mubiru signed the agreement in Dar es Salaam.
Mr James said the project will involve the construction of a 110.2-kilometre outer ring road to bitumen standard, noting that the government itself will also allocate 82bn/- to the project execution.
Through the agreement, the continental financial institution will avail to the government 138 million US dollars (over 300bn/-) through the AfDB window and 42 million dollars through Africa Growing Together Fund—the AfDB administered Chinese Government Fund.
“I wish to express the government’s appreciation for the bank’s support in stepping up development to realise our desire to become a trade and logistical hub for Eastern and Southern African regions,” he said.
The project completion will provide efficient road transport access to Dodoma City residents and enable Tanzania to link with Cairo Road or the 10,228-kilometre Great North Road Highway, covering eight countries—South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Egypt and the Central Corridor Road that connects Tanzania and her neighbouring countries—DR Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
He added that the bank has also shown interest to finance the upgrading of Bagamoyo-Pangani-Tanga road to bitumen standard and construction of Msalato International Airport whose preparations are underway.
Mr James added that implementation of the project is part of the government broad agenda to bridge the infrastructure gap and accelerate the socio-economic development and poverty reduction.Tanzania National Road Agency (TANROADS) Chief Executive Officer Engineer Patrick Mfugale was among witnesses to the deal signing and said the project execution has started shortly after the signed agreement.
Mr Mubiru said the project will support Tanzania’s economic and social development agenda, improving mobility around Dodoma city and urban development as well as enhance regional integration and trade in the EAC region.
“The agreement we have signed will increase the bank’s financed transport sector portfolio to over one billion US dollars, accounting for 51 per cent of the total portfolio of AfDB in Tanzania whose total is 2.05 billion dollars,” he said.
The country manager said the government of Tanzania and AfDB are currently preparing two transport sector projects—phase one of Bagamoyo- Pangani-Tanga-Horo Horo/Lunga Lunga-Mombasa-Malindi road upgrading project and Msalato International Airport.
Meanwhile, Mr James has signed Memorandum of Understanding with Permanent Secretary in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Mr Joseph Nyamuhanga, for the strategic project on construction of 4.2bn/- modern bus terminal in Nzega Town Council.
He said the strategic projects were being implemented annually in the 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 fiscal years. They came with the proposal and presented to the central government to help and enable the town council to become financially independent.
Ms Nyamuhanga has urged the town council directors to be responsible in supervision of the government funded projects. He conceded some challenges of project delays due to improper procurement procedures.