Dar es Salaam. The government has signed a soft loan agreement for $180 million (Sh414.07 billion) with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the construction of the Dodoma City Outer Ring Roads project.
This means constructing a total of 110.2km of roads to ‘bitumen standard,’ as well as the development of social infrastructure.
Speaking at the brief signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam, the permanent secretary of the ministry of Finance and Planning, MrDoto James, said AfDB has disbursed a loan of Sh414.07 billion.
For its part, the government will contribute Sh82 billion from its own funds, equivalent to 16 percent of the total amount for the project as part of the agreement in conformity with AfDB requirements.
Mr James said AfDB will make available to the government $138 million through the AfDB window, and another $42 million through the African Growing Together Fund. This is a China Government Fund administered by the African bank.
When the project construction is completed, efficient road transport will vastly improve access in and out of Dodoma City, as well as facilitate national and international trade flows.
The ring roads would provide links with the 10,228km ‘Cape-to-Cairo Road -- which is also known as the ‘Great North Road,’ and the ‘Pan-African Highway.’ This goes through eight countries across the African continent, namely: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt.
The proposed ring roads will also connect with the Central Transport Corridor that connects Tanzania the neighbouring countries of D-R Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
The permanent secretary further stated that the proposed Dodoma network will also connect with all the roads to and from Arusha, Singida, Dar es Salaam and Iringa.
The project includes the construction of a110.02km-long dual carriageway ring road to bitumen standard connecting Nala with Veyula, Ihumwa and Matumbulu. It will also bring development in the form of social infrastructure such as community water supplies and strengthening healthcarecentersin the place, as well as the rehabilitation of feeder roads and pilot road safety measures around the project road in Dodoma city.
“The total cost of the project is Sh496.07 billion. This includes the loan from the African Development Bank, and our own funding to the tune of Sh82 billion,” Doto James said.
“I wish to express our appreciation for the bank’s support in stepping up infrastructure development in order to realize our desire to become a trade and logistical hub for Eastern and Southern Africa.”
He noted that the loan agreement will increase the amount of funds committed by AfDB to finance the ongoing road projects in Tanzania from $858.16 million to $1.038 billion (Sh2.39 trillion).
In another development, the Permanent Secretary stated that the bank has further shown readiness to finance upgrading of the Bagamoyo-Pangani-Tanga road to bitumen standard, as well as the construction of Msalato International Airport whose preparations are under way.
Answering a question, he said the World Bank had cautioned the Tanzania government regarding the rapidly increasing national debt. But this does not mean that the government could not borrow some more. He said the government evaluates its debt situation in November of every year as a matter of course.
The AfDB country manager for Tanzania, Mr Alex Mubiru, said the bank approved the dual carriage project on April 30 this year. The bank will foot a 64 per cent of the loan, while 20 per cent will be footed by the Africa Growing Together Fund -- and 16 per cent by the government of Tanzania.
Chief executive officer of the ,(Tanroads), Mr Deo Mfugale, said implementation of the roads project is projected to be completed in two years after it commences.