The government has signed a loan agreement worth 489.9m/- with the World Bank to support its efforts of enhancing country’s economic growth and poverty reduction.
The loan signed through International Development Association (IDA) has been channelled to the Urban Local Government Strengthening Programme (ULGSP), the Third Additional Financing Agriculture Sector Development Project (ASDP) and the Third Additional Financing for Accelerated Food Security Project (AFSP).
“If the loan is used as intended, it will bring the target areas massive success and reduce the country’s dependence on costly imported goods and aid from donors,” Finance Minister William Mgimwa said during the signing ceremony with the World Bank represented by Philippe Dongier, its Country Director for Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.
The Minister said the loan aims at enabling farmers to have better access to, and use of agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure; promoting private agricultural investment based on an improved regulatory and policy environment.
It also aims at contributing to higher food production and productivity in targeted areas by providing agricultural input vouchers to eligible farmers to purchase seeds and fertiliser, carrying out awareness and information campaign programme relating to national agricultural voucher scheme including provision of training to village voucher committees.
Meanwhile the World Bank’s country director said the three areas of agreements signed complement other bank’s support to Tanzania’s long-term vision for socio-economic transformation to achieve a middle income country status while also reducing poverty.
He said the loan will improve institutional performance for urban service delivery.
“Tanzania is urbanising rapidly, the percentage of people living in urban areas has increased from six to 24 percent from 1967 to 2005 and over half of the population is expected to be in urban areas by 2030,” explained Dongier.
Dongier also noted that Tanzania is the first beneficiary of the programme in Africa, explaining that if the implementation succeeds it will be easier for other banks and development stakeholders to support other needy countries in the continent.
The 18 town and municipal councils that will benefit from the programme include Tabora, Morogoro, Iringa, Sumbawanga, Songea, Moshi, Lindi, Bukoba, Musoma, Singinda, Babati, Korogwe, Kibaha, Masasi, Njombe, Mpanda, Bariadi and Geita.