The government of Tanzania and the African Development Bank (AfDB) has today signed a concessional loan agreement valued at $495.59 million (about Sh1.14 trillion) for financing three projects.
Going by the pact, development projects to be financed are Msalato International Airport, construction of the Bagamoyo- Hororo/Lungalunga-Malindi road at a tarmac standard, and good governance and private sector development program.
The Msalato International Airport construction project whose tender was announced in February this year, accounts for a lion’s share of the sum at $271.63 million.
Of the total sum, some $168.76 million goes to Bagamoyo-Horohoro/Lungalunga-Malindi road project.
The rest, which is $55.2 million will be used for good governance and private sector development programmes.
The contracts were signed at the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) by the Tanzanian Finance and Planning Ministry Permanent Secretary (PS), MrDotto M. James, and AfDB resident representative, Dr Alex Mubiru.
The inking ceremony was also witnessed by various guests and representatives from Tanzania Airports Authority (TAA), AfDB, Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) and the Works, Transport and Communication ministry.
The Finance PS Dotto James said the construction of Msalato airport and upgrading of the Bagamoyo-Pangani road section to tarmac standard will help the government to bridge the infrastructure gap.
This, he said, would help in accelerating social-economic development, poverty reduction and boost tourism.
“The implementation of the projects will enhance transport connectivity and unleash gains from economic integration for Tanzania with neighboring countries and beyond,” noted Mr James.
Furthermore, he added, the projects would improve long-term institutional capacities of the TAA, TCAA and TANROADS) in meeting international operational standards and strengthen national regulatory oversight.
Meanwhile, Mr James said the implementation of the good governance and private sector development program would enhance economic competitiveness and private sector investment.
He said the program would address challenges identified in the blueprint for regulatory reform to improve the business enabling environment particularly in tax, business registration and licensing reforms.
“This will build on the ongoing efforts to improve budget credibility, public sector oversight, accountability, transparency and institutional capacity to efficiently and effectively manage public resources,” noted Mr James.
He thanked the AfDB for their tireless efforts in clinging with the government when it comes to investment in transport infrastructure.
“We believe this will act as a catalyst for us to realise our dream of becoming a trading and transportation hub in the Eastern and Southern Africa," asserted Mr James.
The Permanent secretary in the Works, Transport and Communication ministry, Mr Elius Mwakalinga, said his ministry would do all in its power to ensure projects are completed on time.
Noting that the projects would create a room for employment creation, he urged Tanzanians to be quick enough to grab opportunities on their way. “These projects provide a priority to indigenous,” he said, urging: “Tanzanians who will take part in the projects' implementation need to be trustworthy.
The TANROADS Chief Executive Officer, Eng Patrick Mfugale, said his team would work around the clock to ensure the projects are complete on time.
He was referring to a 120-kilometre long Bagamoyo-Horohoro/Lungalunga-Malindi road and a 525-meter Pangani bridge.
“Some Sh448.6 billion will be spent in two projects,” said Mr Mfugale.
If all goes well, he added, the tender will be announced any time soon after getting blessing from AfDB.
“As it stands, the projects will be complete in the next three years,” said Eng Mfugale.
On the Msalato airport, he said, the available sum will be used for construction of a runway, passenger terminal, pilot controller communication, airport rescue and firefighting services building, security fence and aircraft parking.
The AfDB country resident representative, Mr Alex Mubiru, said all of the three projects for which they signed loan agreements were aligned with Tanzania’s vision 2025.
“The projects for which we are signing the loan agreements are consistent with our corporate priorities of having a more integrated continent,” said MrMubiru.
This, he added, involves modernising the systems of financial and economic governance, supporting the development of a resilient private sector and improving people’s quality of lives.
The today’s inking ceremony ($495.59 million) increased the total ongoing AfDB portfolio in Tanzania to $2.38 billion (about Sh5.47 trillion).
“Of the amount, investments in the transport sector accounts for 62 percent or approximately $1.47 billion),”said MrMubiru.
He said the construction of Msalato airport is expected to take four years with an expected annual capacity of handling approximately 50,000 aircraft and about 1.5 million passengers, most of which are predicted to be international.
“The AfDB is optimistic that an expanded air transport network in Dodoma together with the ongoing high-speed railway construction on the central corridor, are necessary infrastructure investments to help unlock and disperse spatial development in the countryside,” said MrMubir