World Bank (Washington, DC)

Tanzania: World Bank Supports Land Ownership Reform and Better Access to Financial Services

press release

Washington — The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today approved funds to strengthen the business environment in Tanzania, with actions focused on land administration reform and improved access to financial services, to spur economic growth and improve shared prosperity for the country's population, especially for the most vulnerable.

The US$60.2 million Additional Financing to Private Sector Competitiveness Project (PSCP) is financed by a credit from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA)*.

The PSCP supports the implementation of Tanzania's program to develop the private sector by improving legal certainty and lowering the cost of doing business. Today's funds support the scaling up of these activities by focusing on two components: strengthening the country's business environment and improving access to financial services.

"During the past decade, Tanzania has experienced high rates of economic growth, due to economic liberalization, sound macroeconomic policies, and an expanding public sector," said Philippe Dongier, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania. "The PSCP's focus on securing land ownership and improving access to finance will facilitate increased flows of private investment into the country's industries, light manufacturing firms and farms, while boosting shared growth and jobs and improving the quality of life for Tanzanians."

The PSCP supports activities designed to improve land registration, land use planning and regularization of tenure rights. The project has already piloted a faster land demarcation and registration approach to replace the traditional high cost registration on demand, (which is about 10 times more expensive). Today's project will help to further advance land administration reform, complete business registration reform, and help implement the Government's recently announced initiative to speed up delivery of priority programs such as agriculture, education, energy, transport and water.

The original PSCP was approved by the Board on December 15, 2005. Already PSCP activities have helped 74,000 borrowers and 92,000 clients participate in microfinance. Another 35,000 people have benefitted by participating in Village Savings and Loan Associations and Village Community Banks. The additional financing aims to continue this success by strengthening the legal and regulatory framework for the financial sector, improving the capacity of financial regulators, and supporting the development of products such as finance leasing and savings bonds.

"The scaling-up of PSCP will support the continued momentum of Tanzania's efforts to boost the development of its private sector," said Moses Kibirige, World Bank Task Team Leader. "We hope that the project's actions aimed at improving land ownership certainty and boosting participation in banks and other financial services will create new opportunities for income generation that will benefit young people, women and poor households throughout the country," said Valeriya Goffe, World Bank Co-Task Team Leader.

* The World Bank's International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world's poorest countries by providing zero-interest loans and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people's lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world's 82 poorest countries, 40 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $16 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.

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