The government and the World Bank yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the latter will provide 209 million USD (about 456bn/-) for the implementation of six-year Rural Electrification Expansion Programme.
The six-year project will also be financed by other Development Partners (DPs). Other partners who will finance the project are Norway who will offer 80 million USD, Sweden (70 million USD), European Union (50 million USD), England (42 million USDs) and African Development Bank (25 million USD). Tanzanian government will issue 900m/- for the project.
The MoU was signed at Kwedizinga Village in Handeni District of Tanga Region between the representative of the World Bank, Ms Bella Bird, and the Acting Director General of Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Mr Gissima Nyamo-Hanga.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by the Minister for Energy and Minerals, Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Tanga Regional Commissioner, Mr Martin Shigela, and other representatives from Development Partners (DPs) --Germany, Norway and African Development Bank (ADB).
Prof Muhongo thanked all DPs, saying that their assistance would supplement the government's initiatives of making sure that all households in the rural areas get electricity that would help improve their socio-economic development. He clarified that the project was different from REA Phase Two and Phase Three.
He explained that the programme focused on expansion and improvement of REA projects through increasing the capacity, improving infrastructure and empowering workers' skills in the sector. Earlier, Ms Bird, the World Bank's Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia, hailed the Fifth Phase Government for its efforts that aimed at supplying electricity in rural areas to speed up development for its people.
She said as a development partner, the World Bank, would continue to collaborate with the government and finance such development projects as a step ahead towards wiping out poverty in the country.
"The government of Tanzania has plans to modernise its economy into industrialisation... so a programme like this one of expanding and improving electricity infrastructure, together with empowering the technical sector, will enable the government to reach its goals," she stated.
She further said that the Bank, apart from financing big electricity projects in the national grid; would also finance other minor renewable resource projects in the country to produce enough electricity for its development needs. Prof Muhongo is on an eight-day tour of Tanga Region to inspect REA projects being implemented in all districts.