Tanzania, World Bank Sign $2.7trn Concessional Deal

TANZANIA and the World Bank (WB) have struck a 2.7tri/- concessional loan deal, to finance five key projects in Mainland and semi-autonomous Zanzibar Islands.

The projects are Higher Education for Economic Transformation (HEET) which will receive 982.1bn/-, Tanzania Roads to Inclusion and Socioeconomic Opportunities (RISE) (693.2bn/-) while 346.6bn/- will be directed to the Digital Tanzania Project (DTP).

Others include the Zanzibar Energy Sector Transformation and Access (ZESTA) project (328.1bn/-) and Boosting Inclusive Growth for Zanzibar: Integrated Development Project (BIG-Z) (346.6bn/-)

Speaking during the signing ceremony which took place in Dar es Salaam, on Thursday, 19th August, between Tanzania and the World Bank, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr. Mwigulu Nchemba observed that the signed projects are in line with the country’s Third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III).

Dr. Nchemba explained that “the projects are in line with the sixth-phase government’s broader agenda to build a competitive and industrial economy for human development by improving productive infrastructure, providing reliable access to energy, strengthening the business and investment enabling environment as well as improving education and training systems,”

He revealed that the signing ceremony symbolizes the long-standing development cooperation between Tanzania and the World Bank.

Equally, the cooperation has paved the way for the implementation of a large number of projects focusing on reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting sustainable development for Tanzania.

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The minister noted that “Tanzania expresses its gratitude for the crucial and timely support offered… the signing of five projects reflects that the government under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan is trusted,”

World Bank Country Director, Ms. Mara Warwick, said the five projects are expected to bring significant benefits to a large number of Tanzanians, mostly those who live in rural areas and in Zanzibar.

Ms. Warwick added that “World Bank is proud to support these important development programmes as Tanzania marks its successful transition to lower-middle-income status and continues to make progress towards achieving the goals of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025,”

She further said that the project will help sustain strong growth, while also offering a more inclusive set of economic opportunities to improve living standards for all Tanzanians as the country’s priority agenda for the coming years.

The Minister of State, President’s Office-Finance and Planning in Zanzibar, Mr. Jamal Kassim Ali, revealed that the ZESTA project is expected to expand access to reliable and efficient electrical services and to scale up renewable energy generation in the country.

Such includes installing and operating a battery energy storage system (BESS) with 40 megawatts.

He, however, noted that the BIG-Z project will help to improve the livelihoods of people by improving road infrastructure as well as enhancing the institutional capacity of the government.

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The Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, Prof Joyce Ndalichako said the HEET project will strengthen the learning environment, ensure greater alignment of priority degree programmes to labour market needs and improve the management of higher education systems.

“As a recipient of the largest financing amounting to 982.1bn/-, the goal is to increase enrolment by 30 percent.

“The financing will bring major transformation in the country’s education sector as 23 higher learning institutions will benefit,” said Prof Ndalichako.

She outlined the priority areas including health, climate change, and environment, energy-efficient technology, Information, and Communication Technology (ICT).

Among others are strengthening courses relating to tourism and wildlife conservation, education, social sciences, and industry to have a link between theory and practice.

Prof Ndalichako disclosed that 130 lecture rooms with a capacity of accommodating 500-1000 students, a science laboratory (108), and seminar rooms (55) among others will be constructed.

Also, the plan is to offer PHDs to 623 staff and 477 master degrees, noting that 290 curricula from primary to higher levels of education will be reviewed as per the directives of the President.

On her part, the Minister of State in the President’s Office Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG), Ms. Ummy Mwalimu, disclosed that the RISE project will help improve rural road access and provide employment opportunities for the population in selected rural areas rich in agricultural production.

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“The funds will be used to construct 535 kilometres to enable rural areas to have good condition roads in six rural districts across four regions which are Geita, Tanga (Handeni District Council), Lindi (Ruangwa), and Iringa (Kilolo, Mufindi, and Iringa Rural).

Works and Transport Minister Dr. Leonard Chamuriho noted that a 135km road network in the regions will be constructed under the RISE project, pledging to oversee the funds are used as per the set agreement.

On the other hand, the Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Dr. Faustine Ndugulile, revealed that the DTP will help increase access to high-quality broadband internet services for government, business, and citizens and improve the government’s capacity to deliver digital public services.

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