27 March 2013

Tanzania: China Aid to Boost National Budget

Photo: Xinhau/Lan Hongguang
President Xi Jinping of China, on his visit to South Africa

THE 17 agreements signed last Sunday between Tanzania and China are worth 14 billion US Dollars (about 22tr/-), it has been revealed.

The Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr William Mgimwa, told the 'Daily News' that the huge funding will cover many strategic economic areas and will have a direct impact on the national budgets at least for the coming two fiscal years.

The minister said that his ministry would prepare the exact statistical details contained in the agreements and areas which would be directly or indirectly benefit from the agreements.

The minister, however, confirmed that many areas will be covered in the framework agreements which embrace various economic and technical co-operations.

"We have got a number of projects that will benefit from this huge funding and some of them will enjoy interest free loans. What is important is that this economic boost will definitely have a great impact on our budgets," he stressed.

According to Dr Mgimwa, some of the projects that will benefit from the funding include the ICT Broadband, Bagamoyo Port, Mtwara Port and power transmissions. Others include modernising of the Mtwara and Tanga ports where apart from Chinese support; the projects will also invite the participation of the Public Private Partnership.

The signing of the agreements was witnessed by President Jakaya Kikwete and the new Chinese President, Mr Xi Jinping who concluded his two-day visit in Tanzania on Monday. Mr Xi is currently attending a two-day summit of leaders from the BRICS countries -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- held in the South African port city of Durban.

Some of the projects in the framework agreement included the development of port-side industrial zone and seaport at the Bagamoyo Special Economic Zone, Infrastructure Development Cooperation (Phase I) and a project on modern agricultural industrialisation Zone.

Others include a loan agreement between the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) and China EXIM Bank concerning the National ICT Broad Infrastructure Project Phase III Sub-Phase 1 and a Funding Support Agreement for Development Project.

There was an exchange of Letters for Chinese government Provision of a TV Broadcast Truck to Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Provision of Concessional Loan by China to Tanzania (National ICT Broad Infrastructure Project (Phase III Sub-Phase 1).

Also, there was a handing over of a certificate of the China-Aided Nyerere International Convention Centre, the Promotion and Reciprocal Protection of Investments as well as agreement on Interest Free Loans.

The Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Chinese and Zanzibar governments included the exchange of letters for China-Aided Abdullah Mzee Hospital Rehabilitation and Upgrading Project and Provision of a Set of Container Inspection Equipment at the port of Zanzibar.

Last Sunday President Jinping and President Kikwete agreed to build a comprehensive cooperative partnership characterised by mutual benefit and win-win results. China has become Tanzania's largest trading partner and second largest source of investment records, showing that bilateral trade reached $2.47 billion last year.

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