TANZANIA has asked the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance construction of Kajunguti International Airport to serve the entire Lake Victoria zone.
According to Tanzanian Ambassador to the European Union, Ambassador Diodorus Kamala, the airport is of great importance in integrating the country into a global economy in line with the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)-EU cooperation agenda.
"We look forward to further cooperation with the EIB in the development of airports, notably in the Kajunguti airport that will serve the entire Lake Victoria Zone," he noted.
He pointed out that the feasibility study had already been done and the project found to be commercially, environmentally and socially viable, and has the government's support.
The bank works with more than 150 non EU states, which is about 10 per cent of the Bank's total portfolio.
It owns European Investment Fund which specialises in SMEs and Venture Capital Investment In the last ten years, nearly two thirds of EIB's lending in ACP has gone towards private sector operations.
He noted that the bank's lending focuses on four main areas namely innovation and skills, access to finance for small businesses, addressing climate change and strategic infrastructure.
He said there are many success stories of EIB lending to ACP countries, having lent seven million Euro to Bank of Africa in Tanzania in order to support SME's in the country.
He noted that the seven million Euro would be matched with the same amount offered by BOA bank. He noted that such would result in over 14 million Euro invested to SME's to create jobs economic growth and poverty reduction.
He said EIB is not only supporting private sector but is also supporting government initiatives of providing favourable environment for the private sector to flourish.
In Tanzania, he said EIB issued 50 million Euro to Tanzania in 2010 to support the improvement of regional airports in Kigoma, Bukoba, Tabora, Shinyanga and Sumbawanga.
The improvement of these airports in these peripheral regions of Tanzania has made a very big difference in reducing the cost of doing business, he noted.
He added that EIB issued over 100 million Euro to Tanzania in 2010 to support the construction of 667 Kilometres of high voltage power line between Iringa and Shinyanga to ensure reliable distribution of electricity.
He added that EIB has agreed to issue over 45 million Euro to Tanzania in order to guarantee the supply of clean water for over 500,000 inhabitants of Mwanza, Bukoba and Musoma.
"The 45 million Euro issued will be matched with resources from French Development Agency, Africa Development Bank and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania to implement the project whose total worth is 105 million Euro," he noted.
The EIB's lending mandate for the ACP is under the Cotonou Agreement for EU relations with its partner countries. As the CPA is scheduled to expire we need to think of a new legal mandate for the EIB to continue lending to the ACP countries.