World Bank’s regional VP to visit Tanzania Monday

Saturday September 25 2021
WB PIC

World Bank’s Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr Hafez Ghanem.

By Rosemary Mirondo

Dodoma. The World Bank’s Regional Vice President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Mr Hafez Ghanem, will visit Tanzania next week: a few days after President Samia Suluhu Hassan discussed Covid-19-related matters with the global lender’s chief.

Last Tuesday, President Hassan met with the World Bank Group’s President David Malpass in New York, where the two discussed the lender’s support to Tanzania in the country’s efforts to mitigate Covid-19 impacts and accelerate vaccination.

President Malpass affirmed the World Bank’s willingness to support vaccines procurement, uptake and deployment through its International Development Assistance (IDA). Mr Malpass also lauded Tanzania’s efforts to improve the business environment and facilitate private sector-led growth through reforms.

He stressed the importance of electricity access, affordable housing, and digital infrastructure - including regional solutions - to improve efficiency and access competitive markets.

Mr Malpass also emphasized the importance of debt transparency, and encouraged careful selection of investment programmes and their financing sources.

During the visit - scheduled for September 27-28, 2021 - Dr. Ghanem will hold high-level discussions with President Hassan and other senior government officials and development partners.

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He will also meet with private sector leaders and representatives of Tanzanian civil society.

“This follows on President Hassan’s bilateral meeting with World Bank Group President David Malpass in New York this week where they discussed Tanzania’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and accelerate vaccinations, and the country’s business environment and reforms being undertaken to facilitate private sector-led growth,” said the World Bank Group in a statement.

Dr Ghanem’s latest visit is his second to Tanzania as World Bank Vice President.

The World Bank-financed portfolio in Tanzania includes 21 national projects with total net commitments of $4.8 billion.

Key WB-supported sectors include transport, urban development, education, energy, water, social protection, environment/natural resources, digital development and governance.

Tanzania is also part of five regional projects with its own total commitments reaching $698.3 million. These projects are in the energy, environment, and education sectors.

Dr Ghanem -  an Egyptian and French national - is a development expert with over 30 years of experience.

He nurtures relations with 26 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, where he oversees more than 280 projects with a value totalling more than $49 billion.

“Under his leadership, the World Bank has supported inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change, and promote regional integration,” the World Bank stated.

“Intensifying assistance for fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and expanding access to electricity and digital services to promote economic development are core to his vision for the Eastern and Southern Africa Region,” it added.