African Development Bank funds road infrastructure in Tanzania

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has decided to increase funding for the East African Road Network in Tanzania by $100 million (160 billion shillings) in the 2012-2013 fiscal year in an effort to boost the regional economy.
AfDB’s resident representative in Tanzania Tonia Kandiero announced the increase this month at a foundation stone ceremony for a 223-kilometre tarmac road linking Singida, Babati and Minjingu.
“For Tanzania, I am happy to report that the ongoing bank-financed transport infrastructure portfolio currently stands at $550 million (880 billion shillings) and is expected to grow to $650 million (1 trillion shillings) by the end of the 2012-2013 fiscal year,” Kandiero said, according to Tanzania’s Daily News.
Martine Ntemo, spokesperson for the Ministry of Works, said the road is part of the East African Community’s project to support cross-border business and is part of the Great North Road linking Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt. He told Sabahi that Tanzania is contributing $51 million (81 billion shillings) to the project.
Kandiero said AfDB has decided to start with Tanzania in its mission to increase funding for regional roads and will soon finalise additional funding for the East African Road Network. She said AfDB will fund a 260-kilometre tarmac road from Arusha-Holili in Tanzania to Kenya’s Taveta-Voi corridor.
Infrastructure development is at the heart of the economic development process, according to the AfDB. It reduces the cost of doing business, attracts private-sector investment, enables production and social service delivery, links market centres, and contributes to the sustainability of quality of life, Kandiero said.
“We at the African Development Bank are very proud of the partnership with the government in co-financing the construction of this very important road,” she said.
Muhidin Issa Michuzi, assistant press secretary to the president, said President Jakaya Kikwete thanked AfDB and was pleased to see the last part of the Great North Road be tarmacked in Tanzania.
The road will connect Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, thereby improving trade, Michuzi told Sabahi. He said AfDB and the Japanese International Co-operation Agency have supported a number of improvements to the East African Road Network to facilitate quicker and more convenient transportation.
He said construction of the Singida-Babati-Minjingu road is expected to be completed by December 2013.
Charles Nazi, a senior economist with the Tanzania Electricity Supply Company Limited, said AfDB’s decision to fund the road network is wise, as time and money spent on transportation will be reduced tremendously after the entire road network linking Tanzania and Kenya is paved with tarmac.
“Tanzanians and East Africans at large should be prepared to use this important infrastructure,” Nazi told Sabahi. “The journey, which took more than a day from Babati to Voi in Kenya, will now take less than eight hours. Indeed this is a great opportunity that we should seize with both hands.”

Nazi also suggested that the government and development partners look at supporting railway infrastructure as well, as railroads are able to transport bulk goods more effectively than roads and have aided development for many developed countries. 

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Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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