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Africa News of Saturday, 29 May 2021


What World Bank’s $875m financing means for Tanzania

World Bank approved a combined financing of $875 million for three development projects World Bank approved a combined financing of $875 million for three development projects

Tanzania’s efforts to improve higher learning education, roads as well as increasing broadband internet services for government, businesses and citizens received a boost yesterday after the World Bank approved a combined financing of $875 million (about Sh2 trillion) for three development projects.

The finance from the International Development Association (IDA) targets to help improve rural road access and employment opportunities, strengthen the learning environment and alignment of priority education programs with the labor market at selected higher education institutions, and increased access to high-quality broadband internet services.

“Approval of the three projects reflects the World Bank’s strong support to Tanzania,” said Mr. Hafez Ghanem, the Regional Vice President for the World Bank.

“We want to continue and even strengthen our partnership with Tanzania in its efforts to fight poverty and ensure a better living standard for its people. Investments supported by the three projects will help accelerate growth as they expand access to economic opportunities, especially for women and youth,” he said. “The experiences of successfully transitioning economies have shown that strong human capital is fundamental for long-term growth and the development of an economically secure middle class,” said Mara Warwick, World Bank country director.

“These projects prioritize such investments, which will enable households at all income levels in Tanzania to benefit from growth.”

Roads access

The financing supports projects including the Roads to Inclusion and Socioeconomic Opportunities project (Rise, $300 million) will give more Tanzanians in rural areas access to roads in good condition to enable them to access services and economic opportunities.

‘Rise’ will upgrade roads with climate resilient approaches in six rural districts across four regions – Geita, Tanga, Lindi and Iringa – promoting a sustainable model for routine maintenance, removing bottlenecks that inhibit the improvement of rural roads, and incorporating people-centered community engagement approaches.

‘Rise’ will also generate around 35,000 civil works jobs, including 19,000 community-based routine maintenance contracts involving rural communities, with at least 20 percent of these jobs held by women. The project will also assist in laying the foundation for a greater level of ambition for inclusive sustainable rural road asset management in Tanzania.

Higher education

On Higher Education for Economic Transformation project (Heet, $425 million) aims to strengthen the learning environment, ensure greater alignment of priority degree programs to labor market needs, and improve the management of the higher education system.

‘Heet’ will achieve its objective by strengthening and building the capacity of 14 public higher education institutions in both Mainland and Zanzibar to become high quality centers of learning, focusing on areas with the greatest potential for growth over the coming decade; and enhancing the management of the higher education system through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and subsidiary agencies. Among the key results, participating universities will add or modernize over 260 academic programs within priority areas, with over 100,000 students benefiting from direct interventions to enhance learning.

Internet services

The Digital Tanzania Project (DTP, $150 million) will increase access to high-quality broadband internet services for government, businesses, and citizens, and improve the government’s capacity to deliver digital public services.

This will be achieved through four components: the digital ecosystem: strengthening the laws, policies, regulations, institutional capacity, and human capacity needed to promote ICT infrastructure investment, market competitiveness, digital engagement, job creation, and innovation; digital connectivity: ensuring access to affordable, high-quality internet services for all citizens, including in rural areas, and for critical government institutions.

Further digital platforms and services: building the technical capacity, skills, institutions, and local digital infrastructure for the government to deliver services to citizens and conduct its own business digitally. By the end of DTP’s implementation, more than 75 percent of Tanzania’s population will be covered by a mobile broadband network signal (3G or higher); some 425 ministries, departments and agencies will benefit.