Saturday, 17 April 2010

China, Tanzania sign loan agreements on ICT, air transport infrastructure

The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the Exim Bank of China on Friday signed two concessional loan agreements to finance the Tanzanian National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Broadband infrastructure Backbone Network Project and upgrading of the Zanzibar International Airport.

Under the National ICT broadband infrastructure Backbone Network Project (Phase II), the Exim Bank of China will extend to Tanzania 700 million RMB yuan (about 100 million U.S. dollars) to support the implementation of the project, which aims to contribute significantly to the Tanzanian government's effort to improve communication technology in Tanzania, according to the signed agreement.

In the second project, the Exim Bank of China will provide to the Tanzanian government 481 million RMB yuan (about 70 million U. S. dollars) for the purpose of supporting the upgrading of Tanzania's Zanzibar International Airport Terminal II, the agreement said.

The implementation of the project aims to improve the air transport for passengers and goods to and from the Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar, providing safe and reliable airport for large aircrafts and large number of flights and increase the number of passengers from inside and outside of Tanzania.

Speaking at the agreements signing ceremony, Tanzanian Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mustapha Mkulo hailed China's assistance to his country, noting that the bilateral cooperation in sectors of development and technology between the two countries are highly appreciated.

The two projects would contribute to significantly to the Tanzanian Government's effort to improve communication technology in Tanzania, the national and social development and poverty reduction in the east African country, he said.

It is expected to lower the communication costs between Tanzania and the rest of the world, as well as promote the e- government, e-learning, e-health and e-commerce and economic growth, development of science and technology and government renovation, the minister said.

For his part, Zhu Hongjie, vice-chairman of the Exim Bank of China, said that the bank attached great importance to the issue of concessional loans to Tanzania, which covers the sector of communication, agriculture, transport infrastructure and public facilities among others.

He hoped that the implementation of the two above projects would play an active role in the economic and social development of Tanzania.

The Tanzanian government plans to spend about 4.76 trillion Tanzanian shillings (3.58 billion U.S. dollars) for special infrastructure projects annually from the 2010/2011 financial year, as part of an ambitious five-year public investment drive that has been hailed by the private sector as realistic and in order.

Source:People's Daily Online


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