Saturday, 3 April 2010

African Development Bank, Govt Sign Loan Agreements

Two loan agreements for Sh322.5 billion to be used in the improvement of infrastructure were signed yesterday by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and government of Tanzania.

However, the funds would be disbursed after the fulfilment of conditions that include opening of a special account.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Mr Ramadhani Kijjah, said Sh319.1 billion would be directed to the Road Sector Support Project. This would finance the construction of the Iringa to Dodoma (260km) and Tunduru to Namtumbo (193km) roads.

"We would like to take less than the given time of five years to implement the project. We want to see the roads that connect southern regions to other parts of the country being in a good condition to facilitate development in those areas," said Mr Kijjah.

He said part of the loan would also be used to improve Mtwara port and restructure the Zanzibar Ministry of Communications and Transport.

The remaining Sh3.4 billion will be used to fund the second phase of the Dar es Salaam-Isaka-Kigali/Keza- Musongati railway project that aims at connecting Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

For her part, the AfDB resident representative, Dr Sophi Moyo, urged the Tanzania government to expedite the fulfilment of conditions for entry so that they come into force.

Elaborating, she said the government was supposed to open a special bank account and fully compensate people (if any) who would be affected by the project.

"We look forward to working with Tanzania for the successful implementation of the projects that, when completed, will have a positive impact on poverty reduction and regional integration," added Dr Moyo.

According to Mr Kijjah, in addition to updating the railway- feasibility study of 2008, phase two of the study would also propose to the three countries the Public Private Partnership (PPP) approach in securing funds for constructing railway lines to landlocked Rwanda and Burundi.

Source: All Africa. com

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