The country’s capital, Dodoma, will soon be a hub of business in East and Central Africa, thanks to the ambitious 215 million US dollars (about 497bn/) Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project which is expected to open business and investment space between Tanzania and other African countries.
The project–which will see the country ripping benefits in the economy through the works and transport sectors, has drawn massive attention from economic pundits and normal Tanzanians.
On February 09, 2022, President Samia Suluhu Hassan laid a foundation stone for the 112.3-Kilometre Road project, where she paid tribute to the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group for providing funding for the project which is expected to transform the face and image of the country’s capital, Dodoma.
AfDB is the main financier of the project after its Board approved funding for the Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project in 2019.
The Bank Group is financing 64 per cent of the total cost or 137.3 million US dollars (about 317bn/). The government of Tanzania’s contribution is 34.5 million US dollars (about 79.7bn/-), while an additional 41.8 million US dollars (about 94.8bn/-) comes from the Africa Growing Together Fund, financed by the People’s Bank of China.
“By funding this project, the bank has really demonstrated that it is the bank of Africa which is really committed to African development,” said President Samia during a colorful event to lay the foundation stone to the project, an event which was also attended by AfDB’s President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina.
Dr Adesina was in the country for a three-day official visit to Tanzania between February 07 and 09. The visit according to a press statement from AfDB’s Communication department said it signaled strong ongoing support by the Pan-African lender for transformative infrastructure in the country.
“Once a market town in central Tanzania and the country’s capital, the laying of the foundation stone is expected to transform greater Dodoma into a thriving, sustainable city for its 2.4 million people. It is expected to shore up Dodoma’s reputation as an academic city and tourist destination,” read a statement in part.
Meeting with international development partners on his first day in the country, Mr Adesina said: “Tanzania is making good strides in infrastructure development as it continues to construct roads linking to highways in Dodoma and other parts of the country.” The African Development Bank’s Director General for East Africa, Nnenna Nwabufo, said: “Improving the lives of the people of Tanzania was the key mandate, and the visit reinforced the importance that the African Development Bank places on the country.”
He insisted that the Bank remains a trusted partner of Tanzania. On February 07, 2022, the Bank Group chief met with President Samia and senior members of government at Chamwino State House in Dodoma before joining the president for the foundation stone laying ceremony for the 112.3- km Dodoma City Outer Ring Road co-financed by the Bank.
At the event, President Samia revealed that she had a very convincing conversation with the bank’s top boss where they both agreed to bolster bilateral cooperation and that the latter pledged that his bank would remain a trusted partner with Tanzania.
Overall, the Head of State noted that they agreed to strengthen the already solid relationship between Tanzania and the Bank Group, reinforcing the country’s determination to become a middle-income economy.
“We also agreed to continue working together in the implementation of various ongoing and future development projects, especially in the infrastructure sector,” she said, adding that Dr Adesina had accepted her request to support economic empowerment for women and youth in the country in order to reduce unemployment.
Regarding the Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project, President Samia said the laying of groundwork for one of the largest road projects in the whole of East and Central Africa was one of the steps towards opening of the wider market in the continent. “This is a main catalyst in production and transport growth as we are likely to have access to markets from different countries in the region and from across the continent,” she said.
According to the president, upon completion, the road would be in position to increase sales of agricultural produce and industrial products and that production was equally likely to increase due to the available markets.
Speaking at the event, the AfDB’s president appeared to have been attracted by the way President Samia greets her people in the country, saying the greetings were giving Tanzanians the strength to work hard.
“You always say: ‘I salute you in the name of the United Republic of Tanzania, and I love the way your people respond– Let the work continue… you are continuing with the dream that was left by your predecessor (late John Magufuli) because you both shared a dream for Tanzanians, the dream for a prosperous Tanzania, a Tanzania that is peaceful with fast pace in economic growth and a country that has big hope for Africa,” he stated.
The Minister for Works and Transport, Professor Makame Mbarawa also commended the existing cooperation between AfDB and Tanzania, especially on infrastructure projects.
“As of today, the bank has supported over 1,914 kilometers of road construction in the country, and we have so far received over tril2.5/- funding for the transport sector, which is equivalent to 66 per percent of the total budget of the Ministry for Works and Transport in the 2021/22 Financial Year,” noted the minister.
When providing the report of the project, Tanzania Roads Agency (TANROADS) Chief Executive Officer, Engineer Rogatus Mativila said AfDB Group was a major project funder.
According to him, the project was being implemented by the Chinese Company–China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation at a cost of 100.84bn/- and Avic International Project Engineering Company at a cost of 120.86bn/-.
He further added that the two companies would implement the project for 39 and 43 months respectively. Speaking at the event, the AfDB President committed to increase its investments in Tanzania in support of the country’s development vision 2025.
“Today, the AFDB has a portfolio of investments of 2.5 billion US dollars (about 5.8tri/-) in Tanzania. I’m glad to tell you that the bank’s portfolio has grown from 1.5 billion US dollars (about 3.5tri/-) to 2.5 billion dollars (about 5.8tri/-) in the last six years, which is a significant rise,” he said.
He added, “AfDB is happy to be the primary financier of the Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project, which has total funding of 215 million US dollars (about 500bn/), of which the bank has supplied 64 per cent of this or 137.3 million US dollars (317bn/-).
The government of Tanzania’s contribution is 34.5 million (about 79.7bn/-), while an additional 41.8 million US dollars (about 94.8bn/-) comes from the Africa Growing Together Fund, financed by the People’s Bank of China.”
Dr Adesina went on to say that the project will be a world-class infrastructure that will generate enormous economic activity in and around Dodoma, as well as connect Tanzania to Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
According to the AfDB president, the project’s main purpose was to help Tanzania achieve more inclusive and sustainable economic growth by developing critical transportation infrastructure that contributes considerably to the country’s poverty reduction efforts.
The project’s goals are to give Dodoma City, the rest of the country, and neighbouring nations in the EAC area-efficient road transportation.
“Today marks the laying of the foundations of a transformation road that will change the country’s future, one that will speed regional integration, enhance trade and competitiveness, and better connect Tanzania to the rest of Africa,” said Dr Adesina.
“Today, we are witnessing the strength of persistence in the pursuit of a goal to transform Tanzania, to construct a modern, well-connected, and prosperous Tanzania,” he said.
He had earlier congratulated President Samia Suluhu Hassan on becoming Tanzania’s first female President and currently Africa’s only Executive President. He stated that Samia makes them extremely proud because when women win, Africa wins.
“You are carrying on the tremendous work that you and late President John Magufuli started together, as well as the dream that you both had for Tanzania: prosperity, peace, rapid economic progress, and a beacon of hope in Africa,” he stated.