OFID loan supports key transport infrastructure in Tanzania

VIENNA — Suleiman J Al-Herbish, Director-General of the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), and Abdallah Saleh Possi, Ambassador of Tanzania in Germany, have signed a US$18 million public sector loan agreement for the Uvinza�Malagarasi road project.

The project, which is also being co-financed by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, involves the paving of a 51-km gravel road that would serve around two million people in the Kigoma region in western Tanzania an area that borders Burundi and DR Congo.

Commenting on the newly-signed agreement, Al-Herbish spoke of the long and fruitful co-operation between the OFID and Tanzania, which dates to 1976 and is worth US$300 million in public sector approvals. The approvals cover a wide range of sectors, such as transport, energy, education, water and sanitation, industry and agriculture. Al-Herbish also noted that the OFID had extended regional and national grants for health, agricultural research and energy purposes, among others.

Possi thanked the OFID on behalf of the government of Tanzania and said the agreement demonstrated the important relationship between the OFID and his country. “The government appreciates this timely support, which will improve transport mobility, accessibility, as well as the safety and quality of service delivery,” he said.

Possi also explained how the road sector continued to face considerable challenges, owing to Tanzania’s large size and widely dispersed settlement patterns. “Huge capital investment” was needed, he added.

Agriculture, livestock-keeping and fishing are the mainstays of the economy in the Kigoma region, and thus, reliable roads are crucial for the movement of inputs and produce to marketplaces and neighbouring areas, he observed. The condition of the Uvinza�Malagarasi road, however, hampers smooth movement, with certain stretches prone to flooding during the rainy season, he added.

On completion, the upgraded road would not only enable year-round transport but also boost access to social services and popular tourist attractions that would provide a good source of revenue, he stressed.

Source: Emirates News Agency