20 March 2017

Tanzania: Magufuli to Lay Ubungo Interchange Foundation Stone

PRESIDENT John Magufuli is today scheduled to lay the foundation stone for Ubungo interchange whose construction is expected to cost 190bn/- upon completion.

President of the World Bank Group Dr Jim Yong Kim who jetted in the country yesterday evening for a three-day working visit will also attend the historic function.

This is Dr Kim's first trip to Tanzania. Funded through a World Bank loan, the Ubungo interchange is likely to reduce traffic congestion along Morogoro, Sam Nujoma and Mandela roads in the city.

"The project is one of the government initiatives to improve transport infrastructure in the city... the World Bank and the government of Tanzania are funding the project," the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications minister said in a statement in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Other projects include construction of third and fourth phases of bus rapid transit infrastructure along Nyerere Road from the city centre to Gongo la Mboto and New Bagamoyo Road from the central business district to Tegeta. Just recently, the Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) inked an agreement with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on the construction of the interchange. The constructor will have 30 days to undertake the project.

TANROADS Chief Executive Engineer Patrick Mfugale said a total of 65,000 vehicles pass through Ubungo junction daily, causing heavy traffic congestion along Morogoro, Mandela and Sam Nujoma roads.

During his tour of Tanzania, Dr Kim is slated to meet President Magufuli to discuss key engagements of the strategic partnership between Tanzania and the Breton Wood's institution. He will also focus on World Bank supported investments in transformational infrastructure, and highlight the need for continued investments in human development, especially education quality.

The partnership between Tanzania and the World Bank Group dates back to June 1960 when the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group's private sector arm, invested 2.8 million US dollars in the Kilombero Sugar Company.

The World Bank currently finances 23 national projects to which it has injected 3.6 billion US dollars (over 7tri/-) in addition to seven regional operations through which Tanzania accesses 551 million dollars in financing, bringing the total amount committed to 4.3 billion US dollars.

The bulk of the support, 22 per cent, focuses on the transportation sector, followed by urban development, which accounts for 20 per cent. Dr Kim became the 12th President of the group on July 1, 2012 after serving as President of Dartmouth College, a pre-eminent centre of higher education in the United States.

At the G20 finance ministers' meeting in Germany last week, Dr Kim affirmed the bank's support to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to reform their economies, diversify and restore growth. "Leaders understand the need for the tough second and third generation reforms that will lead to structural transformation.

They know they cannot wait for sequential reforms, but need to work in parallel on many different fronts," Dr Kim stated.

The World Bank Group boss said a key priority is to help African countries to invest in the much needed infrastructure through partnership with the private sector. The continent's infrastructure needs are estimated at 93 billion US dollars, about 15 per cent of the region's gross domestic product.

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