Tanzania: Road Projects Get Japanese Funding

THE Government signed a loan agreement on Monday and exchanged notes with the government of Japan that will enable the nation to access a concessional loan of 129.48bn/- from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The money will be channelled into the Road Sector Projects (phase II). The project will cover two sections. The initial section will involve the 188km stretch of Dodoma-Babati road which is part of the Trans African Highway.The highway is an international corridor that would connect Cape Town in South Africa to Cairo in Egypt. Secondly, the project would take in a 203km section of Mtambaswala-Mangaka-Tunduru road in the Mtwara corridor.

The section will link the Southern regions with Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr William Mgimwa, said that the funds, equivalent to Yen 7.659 billion will also go into upgrading roads that link Mayamaya to Bonga.

Other sections include the Mtambaswala, Mangaka and Tunduru stretch which is also co-financed by the African Development Fund (AfDF).The Japanese government also financed the first phase of the Road Sector Project in 2010 to the tune of Yen 7.12 billion, equivalent to 116.82bn/-. The funds went on to facilitate upgrading of the Iringa-Dodoma road, whose construction is currently in progress.

Dr Mgimwa noted that the government was forced to terminate the contractor who was working on the Tunduma - Namtumbo stretch for failure to perform.

"Plans are underway to engage a replacement. We will use the experience of Road sector support phase I, to ensure effective implementation of the projects that fall under phase II," he said.

He stressed that the government will make close monitoring in order to ensure successful implementation of the two stretches of roads, whose successful completion will bring about economic growth and reduce poverty.

The Ambassador of Japan in Tanzania, Ambassador Masaki Okada, said development of trunk roads in Tanzania will have a big impact not only on the nation's economy, but also on the other East African countries.The government of Tanzania launched the Comprehensive Transport and Trade System Development Master Plan last month, in response to a request from the Japanese government, which shows that by 2030 transport demand will quadruple.

Ambassador Okada said the Loan provided for the Road Sector Project Phase II, will upgrade the two roads to bitumen standards. The Dodoma-Babati stretch (188kms) is part of the Trans African Highway, which is an international corridor connecting Cape Town and Cairo.

JICA, Tanzania Office, Chief Representative Mr Yasunori Onishi said the transport sector has been one of their priority areas for cooperation. It is the key sector to support and further accelerate economic growth, according to him.

"We have three focal pillars of our support to the sector, which are strengthening countrywide transport, decongestion of heavy traffic in Dar es Salaam and rural road development," he explained.


Source : allafrica.com

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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