The government has signed a loan agreement with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (Badea) amounting to US$23 million (34.5bn/-) for financing a 22.1 kilometre-road linking Wete and Chake Chake in Pemba.
Minister for Finance Dr William Mgimwa represented the government of Tanzania, while Badea Director General Abdelaziz Khelef signed on behalf of the bank.
In his remarks after signing the agreement, Dr Mgimwa commended Badea for its commitment to help Tanzania improve its road infrastructure and boost the country’s development.
He said the loan would speed up development in the country particularly in Pemba Island.
Dr Mgimwa explained that apart from signing the agreement the bank had already issued US$10 million (over 15bn/-) for the road project.
“We have also issued US$10 million from the Arabian fund to boost the construction of the road,” the minister said, adding that the government of Tanzania would contribute US$3 million (4bn/-) for the project.
He said Wete and Chake Chake were important areas for agricultural production, hence having a tarmac road would improve agriculture in the area.
“These areas are suitable for clove production. So, having a tarmac road will improve the transportation of yields in the area,” the minister stressed.
According to Mgimwa, the road construction will start in October this year and end on October 31 next year and the project will be implemented in three phases.
“People living along the proposed road, whose houses will be demolished to pave the way for the road construction, will be compensated because they have been there before the road was planned,” the minister noted.
So far, Tanzania has benefited from Badea with funds amounting to US$73 million since Badea started supporting development projects.
Zanzibar Finance Minister Omary Yusuph Mzee said the road would link the northern and southern parts of Pemba Island.
For his part, Zanzibar Infrastructure and Communication Minister Ahamad Masud Ahmad said the project would involve expansion of the current road from a width of 4.5 to 6 metres.