JICA’s cooperation on transport infrastructure development in Tanzania

JICA’s cooperation on transport infrastructure development in Tanzania

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is one of the largest bilateral development cooperation partners in the world, and it has been extending its cooperation through a variety of modalities such as technical cooperation, concessional loans, grant and Japanese volunteers in Tanzania.


Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is one of the largest bilateral development cooperation partners in the world, and it has been extending its cooperation through a variety of modalities such as technical cooperation, concessional loans, grant and Japanese volunteers in Tanzania.

In addition, recently JICA expanded its portfolio to private sector investment finance. JICA has 96 overseas offices worldwide, 28 of which located in the Sub-Saharan African region.

Tanzania is one of the largest top recipients of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) among the Sub-Saharan African countries, namely Kenya, Ghana, Senegal and Zambia. Transport infrastructure development is one of the priority sectors of JICA’s cooperation, and it accounts for about 27 percent of total amount of JICA’s cooperation in Tanzania.

The cooperation contributes to inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth, and poverty eradication through such growth. Developing transport infrastructure addresses specific goals in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) such as goal 9 “build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation”, goal 11 “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”, and goal 17 “strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”.

JICA’s cooperation considers not only for quantity but also quality, since low-quality infrastructure would hinder development of the country in a mid/long-term. In this vein, JICA conducts projects in accordance with “the principles for quality infrastructure investment”. It was adopted at the G20 Osaka Summit in June 2019, and it shows the strategic direction to contribute to closing the infrastructure gap, develop infrastructure as an asset class, and maximizing the positive impacts of infrastructure investment according to country conditions. In addition, JICA assists to improve connectivity between two growing continents of Africa and Asia through Indian and Pacific oceans, since “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” is a key for social and economic prosperity and development of the continents.

Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment” adopted at the G20 Osaka Summit 20191)

1)Maximizing the positive impact of infrastructure to achieve sustainable growth and development

2) Raising economic efficiency in View of Life-Cycle Cost

3) Integrating environmental considerations in infrastructure investments

4) Building resilience against natural disasters and other risks

5) Integrating social considerations in infrastructure investment

6) Strengthening infrastructure governance.

Development of Urban Transport Network

Building foundation and inclusive development of Dar es Salaam

JICA’s first cooperation in the development of transport infra-structure in the country was “the Selander bridge expansion project (1980 – 1982)” in Dar es Salaam. This project started in the memorable year when JICA established its Tanzania office in Dar es Salaam in 1980.

Together with the following project “Morogoro road improvement project (1984 – 1987)”, essential routes connecting to the Central Business District (CBD) were upgraded to four lane roads and bridges.

These expansion works increased transport capacity and supported everyday commutation and further development of residential and commercial areas along these roads.

From the beginning of project, JICA developed a project through close consultations and discussions with the Government of Tanzania and implementing agencies such as the Tanzania National Roads Agency (Tanroads) to find actual needs of infrastructure development.

As the result of discussions with the Government of Tanzania, JICA has implemented a wide range of road projects including community road networks of residential and commercial areas. The projects covered the central district of Dar es salaam Mwinyijuma Street, Upanga, New Bagamoyo road, Morogoro road, Chang’ombe, Kariakoo, Mwananyamala, Ilala, Sinza areas and Nelson Mandela road.

These roads formed a foundation of Dar es Salaam to support daily lives of people for decades. Strategic development master plan for sustainable development JICA’s cooperation is not only physical construction.

It takes a comprehensive approach that involves urban development master planning, organizational and human resources capacity building by utilizing its rich experiences around the world. For instance in 2007, JICA in collaboration with the President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) (formerly known as Prime Minister’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government (PMO-RALG)), supported the “Dar es salaam Transport Policy and System Development Master Plan (2007 – 2008).

To ensure that projects proposed in the master plan materialize, consultations with various stakeholders were made to make consensus for further cooperation on its implementation.

As a result of these efforts, we can presently see several projects that have been realized from the master plan. For example, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), aiming to establish a compact and efficient urban structure, started operation along Morogoro road in 2016.

The New Selandar Bridge is now under construction aiming to ease traffic congestion along Ali Hassan Mwinyi road. Moreover, Bandari intersection is under expansion as a new BRT route.

Development of the memorable Mfugale Flyover

The most recently completed JICA’s cooperation project from priority projects of the master plan is “the Project for Improvement of Tazara Intersection (2015 – 2018)”. The project constructed the first flyover of the country, Mfugale Flyover, to remove traffic congestion at the busiest intersection between Julius Nyerere and Nelson Mandela roads connecting industrial areas with the trunk roads connecting to up-country.

Before the implementation of the project, it took more than two hours to arrive at the airport from the city center. Now it takes less than 30 minutes to go through the same route.

In addition to such a life-changing impact, quality management skills of implementation of the projects can also be observed. For instance, construction works at Mfugale Fly-over can be cited as a good example of such quality improvement. Collaboration between a Japanese Contractor and Tanzanian workers achieved 2.5 million man hours of no accidents record for the whole period of the project.

The implementation of the project brought not only job opportunities, but also practical experiences for Tanzanian workers to acquire advanced quality management skills from their Japanese counterparts.

Development of economic corridor

Since the 2000s, JICA’s cooperation was extended beyond Dar es Salaam. While actively cooperating to remove bottlenecks of national road networks by individual construction projects, JICA extended its support in preparing the Comprehensive Transport and Trade System Development Master Plan of 2013.

The master plan considered the importance of regional connectivity among neighboring countries so as to drive regional trade and economy in Tanzania as a regional hub. Furthermore, JICA committed itself to supporting economic corridor development of the African continent at the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) V in 2013.

There are significant examples of the cooperation in economic corridor development such as Trans African Highway No. 4, Mtwara Corridor and Central Corridor etc.

Development of Mtwara corridor

The Mtwara Corridor connects southern areas with Mtwara Port, the third largest port in Tanzania. These areas are have a high potential of mining and agricultural industries. Based on these series of grant and loan projects such as “The Project for the Improvement of Masasi – Mangaka road (2007 - 2010)”, “Road Sector Support Pro-ject (2010 – 2016)” and “Road Sector Support Project II (2013 – 2017)”, JICA interventions building a total of about 450 kilometres of paved trunk roads and the transport time and costs were significantly reduced by 30 – 40%.

Trans African highway No. 4 connects the African continent

Since 2007, JICA co-financed with the African Development Bank, the development of trunk road between Iringa and Namanga on the northern border with Tanzania and Kenya. A series of loan projects such as the “Arusha-Namanga-Athi River road -Development Project (2007 – 2014)”, “Road Sector Support Project (2010 – 2016)” and “Road Sector Support Project II (2013 – 2017)”, were implemented covering about 550 kilometres of road sections along the south-north backbone road through the capital city Dodoma.

The completion of these projects was one of the most memorable events not only for Tanzania, but also for the whole of Africa. Through the project, it connected whole sections of the Trans African Highway No. 4.

The concept of nine Trans African Highways was advocated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in 1970 for active movement of people and goods across the continent of Africa. The Trans African Highway No. 4 connects the continent from South Africa to Egypt covering over 10,000 kilometres.

At long last after nearly a half century, the last missing link of the highway was connected by the above mentioned projects.

Development of one stop border post (OSBP)

For enhancement of regional trade along the economic corridors, One Stop Border Post (OSBP) was introduced. At an OSBP, exit and entry border controls of the two partner states are collocated on each side of the border. So people, goods and vehicles stop only once for entry/exit of the country.

JICA supported the East African Community in the establishment of a regional legal framework of OSBP and JICA, in collaboration with the World Customs Organization (WCO), conducted a technical cooperation for capacity building of the East African Revenue Authorities including the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) since 2007.

Together with the enhancement of operational capability, cooperation on development of hard infrastructure improved efficiency of transportation along the economic corridors, and consequently brought significant increase of trade among countries.

JICA supported the construction of OSBP facilities and a connecting bridge crossing a valley at Rusumo, on the border between Tanzania and Rwanda.

 The project brought significant reduction of the cross border time to 2 hours 20 minutes from the previous 8 hours 42 minutes.

Another example is at Namanga, on the border between Tanzania and Kenya. Cooperation on the development of OSBP’s and connecting trunk roads has improved market access for people living in remote areas. Freight traffic volume from Tanzania to Kenya via Namanga border increased 2.8 times in five years from 145,000 tons in 2014 to 409,000 tons in 2018.

 JICA’s cooperation in the future Continuous human resource development

While developing transport infra-structure, it is also necessary to involve assistance designed to make wise use of developed infrastructure.

For the development and effective use of infrastructure, JICA has been engaged in the development of the related human resources. JICA’s Knowledge Co-Creation Program (KCCP) invites Tanzanian people in Japan, and it has significance with regard to the utilization of Japan’s development experience and knowhow by adapting them to the partner country, rather than only sharing Japan’s advanced technologies and skills.

Since the commencement of the cooperation, over 21,000 Tanzanian people visited Japan for training. JICA will continue to provide KCCP for further human resource development in transport sector and other related sectors.

Urban development in Dodoma and Dar es Salaam

The rate of population increase is expected to continue and the population of Dar es Salaam will exceed 12 million by 2040 and, as a result, traffic demand would be more than doubled from 2027.

For sustainable development with such a rapid growth of the population, JICA recently cooperated with the Government to revise the Dar es Salaam Urban Transport Master Plan in 2018 that depicted the future “Mega City” with a number of exciting projects.

The urban public transport sys-tem using urban railway together with expanding BRT services will sustain further expanding area of the city and ensure smooth transportation.

Development of modern Intelligent Transport System (ITS) together with construction of flyovers at the busiest intersections will accommodate increasing number of vehicles. JICA will continue their cooperation with the Government of Tanzania to materialize the pro-posed projects in the new master plan, and support Dar es Salaam City to shift to a “Transit Oriented Mega City”.

In the master plan, JICA together with the Government proposed a concept of “Transit-Oriented-Development (TOD)”. This concept encourages modal shift from auto-mobile use to public transportation use. Increasing road capacity to meet the increasing demand is difficult, so modal shift would be promoted.

Not only development of trans-port nodes such as MRT station, but also enhancing attractiveness of are-as around public transport at the various Sub Centre, District Centre and/or Satellite City. JICA considers that TOD will contribute the additional revenue to the MRT body so that MRT body is able to reinvest to the remaining phase of the projects. Furthermore, JICA is considering extending its cooperation to the capital city, Dodoma.

Together with the strong initiative and leadership of the Government of Tanzania, the capital city is experiencing the fastest growth. To accommodate the increasing traffic demand, JICA is conducting a feasibility study of development of inner-city roads.

Development of economic corridors and improvement of transport safety

JICA will also continue its cooperation on corridor development. The projects that are under planning stage are “the Project for the Rehabilitation of Kigoma Port” and the “Arusha-Holili Road Improvement Project”. These projects will address safety concerns in addition to improvement of efficiency of transportation of the economic corridors.

Kigoma Port is a transportation hub of the Central Corridor connecting Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo through Lake Tanganyika.

While lake transport is an essential route for the residents, the passenger terminal has serious damages, and people are not able to board a vessel directly. Therefore, JICA has been discussing with the Government of Tanzania with a view to upgrading the passenger terminal to ensure people’s safe transport.

The Arusha-Holili road is the main transport route between Arusha and Kenya. The upcoming project will increase traffic capacity by widening busy sections of roads.

In addition, the project will address the safety concern of a bridge section at Kikafu between Kilimanjaro International Airport and Moshi.

This section consists of several risk elements such as poor visibility together with steep slopes and sharp curves. To ensure safe transport, JICA and the Government of Tanzania are discussing the construction of New Kikafu Bridge crossing the valley which will be of over 500 meters. It is assumed that JICA, through the soon coming projects, will con-tribute towards the further development of Tanzania, and strengthen the long-lasting bilateral cooperation between Tanzania and Japan.