Magufuli urges foreign lenders to grant debt relief

Tanzania President John Magufuli

Dar es Salaam. President John Magufuli yesterday called on international financial institutions and lenders to consider providing Tanzania with debt relief to enable the country strengthen its economy.

He also commended India’s efforts aimed at discovering Covid-19 vaccine, believing that the country will be successful in its bid.

Dr Magufuli made the statement during his telephone conversation with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The latter called him to share feedback on the recently held G20 meeting which India attended.

Mr Modi also commended Tanzania for building its economy, and wished Dr Magufuli and Tanzanians all the best ahead of the 2020 General Election.

Tanzania will in October this year elect a Union president, a Zanzibar president, parliamentarians, Members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and councillors.

A statement signed by Presidential Communications director Gerson Msigwa said the President urges international financial institutions to consider giving Tanzania debt relief to help it effectively combat the adverse impacts of Covid-19.

“Also, I believe that Tanzania will benefit from vaccine discoveries, despite the fact that the disease has already disrupted the country’s economy,” said Dr Magufuli.

He thanked India which is among the top five leading countries in terms of holding investments in Tanzania and commended it for providing low-interest loans for the implementation of various development projects in the country.

Dr Magufuli named some loans as the one used for constructing the Nelson Mandela Institute of Technology, funding implementation of water projects, higher learning education sponsorship for Tanzanian students studying medicine, engineering and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in India.

According to the statement, water projects include the completed Sh225.9 billion (Ruvu- Dar es Salaam) project, Sh611.5 billion Lake Victoria project to supply water to Tabora, Nzega and Igunga which is about to be completed.

Others are Sh1.2 trillion water projects to 28 towns whose implementation is under way, and the Sh209.9 billion on-going construction of water infrastructures in Zanzibar.

“He assured Mr Modi continued cooperation between the two countries, inviting more Indian businessmen and investors to invest in industries, agriculture, livestock, minerals and many other sectors,” according to the statement.

According to Mr Modi the meeting among other issues agreed that international financial institutions should give debt amnesty to poor countries that have been hit hard by Covid-19.