Dar es Salaam — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said it is expected to increase fund for roads construction to $650m by the end of this year.
AfDB is in the final stages of processing the financing for 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 bank said last week.
"I am happy to report that ongoing bank financed transport infrastructure portfolio currently stands at $550m and expected to grow to $650m by the end of the 2012/2013 financial year," the AfDB's Resident Representative for Tanzania, Ms. Tonia Kandiero said.
Kandiero said the corridor is meant not only to serve part of central and north-western Tanzania but also the landlocked neighbors to the West, namely Rwanda, Burundi and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
"We recognize that infrastructure development is at the heart of the economic development process that reduces the cost of doing business, attracts private sector investment, enables production and social service delivery, links market centers 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," she said.
Kandiero stressed the AfDB together with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have set aside financing for the Mayamaya-Bonga road under the Road Sector Support Project II.
"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, she said.
"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."
Kandiero added AfDB is committed to infrastructure development on the continent and as such has allocated a big percentage of its resources to the cause.
The allocation is consistent with the Bank's Medium Term Strategy (2008-2012) and the Long-Term Strategy (2013-2022), that have identified infrastructure as one of the major focus areas for new commitments especially projects that have high development and regional integration impact, she said.
The on-going portfolio includes the near completed Multinational: (i) Arusha-Namanga -Athi River Road Project; (ii) 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.