THE African Development Bank (ADB) is finalising the process to finance construction of the Arusha-Holili/Taveta-Voi Corridor, which at completion will facilitate cross-border trade and support the integration agenda of the East African Community.
The corridor is meant to not only serve part of central and north-western Tanzania but also the landlocked neighbours to the West--Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Bank recognizes that infrastructure development is at the heart of the economic development process to reduce the cost of doing business, attracts private sector investment, enables production and social service delivery, links market centres and contributes to the sustainability of the quality of life through re-distribution of wealth as provided in MKUKUTA II and the Five Year Development Plan.
"We, at the African Development are very proud of the partnership with the government in co-financing the construction of this very important road", said the ADB Resident Representative in Tanzania Tonia Kandiero, at the Opening of the Singida-Babati-Minjingu Road in Singida. Ms Kadiero also said that the ADB together with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have set aside financing for the Mayamaya-Bonga road under the Road Sector Support Project II.
She said the procurement process for the award of the civil works contracts was at an advanced stage with the contractors expected on site in the first quarter of 2013. The completion of this section together with the rehabilitation of the Minjingu-Babati road financed by another development partner will provide an all-weather link between Arusha and Dodoma.
Ms Kadiero said that the ADB is committed to infrastructure development on the continent and as such has allocated a big percentage of its resources to the cause. "For Tanzania, I am happy to report that ongoing Bank financed transport infrastructure portfolio currently stands at 550 million US dollars and expected to grow to 650 million US dollars by the end of 2012/2013 financial year," she said.
The on-going portfolio includes the near completed Arusha-Namanga Athi River Road Project, Road Sector Support Project I comprising the Dodoma-Iringa and the Tunduru- Namtumbo road of total length of 440km; both jointly financed by JICA and the bank. She said one of the major challenges was the poor performance of contractors which threatens the achievement of the development objectives of the country.