Tanzania and the European (EU) Commission yesterday signed six agreements worth Euro 126.5 million (Sh.252 billion) donated by the European Union meant to encourage an inclusive economic growth in the country.
The Minister for Finance Dr William Mgimwa and European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs House inked the agreement at State House in Dar es Salaam in the presence of President Jakaya Kikwete and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barrosso.
The EU programme will enable Tanzania to benefit from six different economic development projects to help improve access to water and sanitation; strengthen the road transport sector and rural road infrastructure.
The new support programme will help to rehabilitate more than 200 kilometres of roads and provide access to safe drinking water for 500,000 people, improved sanitation infrastructure and services for some 140,000 inhabitants.
It will also benefit good governance and social accountability as well as capacity support for the government in programme management, policy dialogue and broader donor coordination.
The first financing agreement was Euro 45 million for the support of roads transport network focusing on the road maintenance. The second financing agreement is under Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) initiative worth Euro 51.51 million for water programmes in Lindi, Sumbawanga and Kigoma towns. The third financial agreement amounting to Euro 22 million is for the improvement of rural roads on selected local roads in three regions. The fourth financial agreement of Euro 3 million is for a programme to support non-state actors in Zanzibar with the overall objective of strengthening good governance.
Also on the list is the financial agreement worth Euro 2.5 million to support National Authorising Office for managing EU portfolio in Tanzania.
The final signed financial agreement worth Euro 2.5 million is for technical cooperation facility aimed at providing a flexible instrument for capacity development to strengthen EU programmes implementation and formulation.
The EU President noted during the signing ceremony that Tanzania is one of EU’s main partners in Africa and that it is also playing an increasingly important role in the stability and the inclusive and sustainable economic growth of the whole region.
‘We want to deepen our regular political dialogue with Tanzania and further increase our cooperation in areas like energy, anti-piracy, counter-terrorism and migration”, he said, adding that those were the issues which were of concern to both for Africa and the EU.
On his part, President Kikwete expressed the government’s appreciation and commitment to strengthen the unprecedented social-political and economic historical cooperation between Tanzania and EU.
He said EU is one of key development partners in terms of magnitude of financial support and commitment to Tanzania’s development initiatives, noting that since 1975, the country has benefited from grant aid from EU of about Euro 1.8 billion (Sh3.8 trillion).