World Bank issues 2.3trn/- loan in roads,varsities push

07Jun 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
World Bank issues 2.3trn/- loan in roads,varsities push

THE World Bank has approved 2,339.1bn/- concessional loan to Tanzania for implementation of infrastructure, education, and electrification projects, Finance and Planning minister Dr Mwigulu Nchemba said yesterday.

The funds are meant for the improvement of rural roads to enhance social opportunities, he told a press conference, noting that a project to strengthen the teaching and training environment in higher education institutions was also included.

Others are a project to increase access to internet services and another to expand access and quality of services for the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation, he said, highlighting that the World Bank board approved three concessional loans totaling 2.012trn/- to Tanzania towards development projects.

On June 3, the board of the Bretton Woods institution again approved another loan for 326.6bn/-, he said, elaborating that this step brings the entire concessional loan to Tanzania to 2,339.1bn/-.

Projects to be funded by the loans include the Higher Education for Economic Transformation Project (HEET) involving $425m, Digital Tanzania Project (DTP) billed at $150m and the Zanzibar Energy Sector Transformation (ZESTA) project, billed at $142m.

He said the rural infrastructure, services and education (RISE) project will improve rural roads and provide about 35,000 income gaining openings to rural dwellers, plus capacity building for sustainable maintenance of the rural roads involving local communities.

The project involves the construction of 535 kms of roads at tarmac level in six districts of Iringa, Lindi, Geita and Tanga regions, and the repair of rural roads countrywide, he affirmed.

In regard to the HEET project, Dr Nchemba said it will assist in improving the environment for teaching in higher educational institutions in national priority fields.

“The project will also review and improve universities’ curricula, building the capacity to lecturers and other academic staff to produce graduates who can compete in the job market,” he added.

The DTP project will help to increase the availability of quality internet services and improve digital services application as part of efforts to develop the country’s digital ecology, he stated.

Dr Nchemba said the $150m for Boosting Inclusive Growth for Zanzibar (BIG-Z) is expected to be tabled at the board sitting later this week, for consent.

He similarly intoned that the government has expanded space for the private sector to participate in the implementation of strategic projects to achieve the country’s Third Five-Year Development Plan (2021/22-2025/26) that is expected to be launched soon.

Addressing stakeholders from financial institutions discussing alternative financing of development projects, the minister said evaluation conducted on the implementation of the Second National Development Plan showed little participation of the private sector.

The government has thus decided it should discuss with stakeholders on the best way to get private companies on board, that the government and the private sector should begin by looking for alternative ways to implement the projects.

It was important to have alternative ways to enable the implementation of big development projects so that it does not affect the provision of essential social services, he elaborated.

In regard to projects that could be implemented through alternative ways, the government will improve the environment for their implementation, he added.