Tanzania: SGR Funding Outlook Bright, Mpango Says

FINANCIAL deals for the construction of the second phase of the standard gauge railway will be concluded by the end of the month, the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, has said.

He told the 'Daily News' on the sidelines of the Africa Investment Forum that ended here on Wednesday, that discussions with a consortium of development finance institutions to finance construction of the railway line from Morogoro to Makutupora area in Dodoma Region were at advanced stages.

"I am sure of getting the money. So far we are moving on well," said Dr Mpango, who was leading Tanzania delegation at the forum organized by the African Development Bank to tilt the flow of investments to Africa.

Tanzania is constructing a standard gauge railway that will link Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo to the Dar es Salaam Port.

The first phase of the railway line covering 202 kilometres from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro is in final stages.

And in separate interviews, Trade and Development Bank, Africa Finance Corporation officers confirmed they were raising funds for infrastructure development in Tanzania.

The President and Chief Executive Officer for Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, Admassu Tadesse, told the 'Daily News' that they were pooling resources for Tanzania.

"We have approved 500 million US dollars syndicated loan for Tanzania," said the top boss of the multilateral, treaty-based development financial institution, formerly the PTA Bank. "We have been mandated to arrange 500 million US dollars for Tanzania by pooling resources from development and finance institutions," he said.

The Bank's mandate is to finance and foster trade, regional economic integration and sustainable development through trade finance, project and infrastructure finance, asset management and business advisory services.

Tanzania was among countries they were focused on because of the strong macroeconomic performance it had registered in over a decade.

"Tanzania is among five fastest growing economies in Africa. It is on a serious growth path and needs financing which requires partners to support," he said.

Tanzania has been a macro-economic success story for nearly two decades with real gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaging seven per cent supported by key drivers - construction, manufacturing mining, transport and communications sectors - as well as substantial public infrastructure development.

A Senior Director, Investment Group, Taiwo Adeniji told the 'Daily News' that they had approved 85 million US dollars towards financing construction of the railway line.

He said they had joined a group of development and financial institutions which are pooling finances for infrastructure development for Tanzania.

Trade and Development Bank raising funding for Tanzania and AFC is part of the transaction.

"We have contributed 85 million US dollars," said the head of the multi-lateral African financial institution that provides project structuring expertise and risk capital to address Africa's infrastructure development needs," he said.

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