THE ruling party, CCM, has promised to open up the Southern highlands regions to the international market through expansion and construction of airports and improvement of infrastructure.
CCM presidential candidate, Dr John Magufuli said the move will facilitate regional and international trade.
The incumbent president who was addressing a campaign rally at Police grounds in Makambako, Njombe region said the construction of Njombe Airport at tarmac level will enable traders and business dealers from across the world to reach the Southern highlands regions easily.
He said Njombe is rich in vegetable, fruits and tea cul- tivation and that improvement of infrastructure will boost the business in the area. Njombe Region is among the handful of the country's bread basket.
"We are going to expand Njombe airport to allow big aircraft to land here, this will facilitate trade at both local and international levels. Njombe produces avocado, tea and various types of vegetables, which are needed in various parts of the World, so this is a great opportunity for Njombe people and Tanzanians at large," he said.
According to the CCM 2020-2025 manifesto, the government managed to revive the Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) by purchasing 11 brand new aircraft.
The manifesto also states that the government will purchase another five aircraft in the coming five years if CCM leaders will be elected to form the government.
According to the manifesto, one of five aircraft that are expected to be purchased will be meant for cargo.
Yesterday, Dr Magufuli assured the public at Makambako that the new cargo plane will stimulate businesses in the country by linking local traders to the international markets and vice versa.
Moreover, Dr Magufuli said, if re-elected, his government will focus on the renovation and improvement of Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) purposely to ensure reliable cargo transport and improve people's welfare. He said the government is looking forward to purchasing seven locomotives and 21 wagons.
The presidential candidate said a total of 498.76bn/- has been spent for road projects in Njombe.
He said for the past five years, the government successfully linked Njombe with neighbouring regions and constructed a number of kilometres of tarmac roads within the region.
He said road projects have changed lives in Njombe including minimizing hours that were being spent on road. "It was taking people two days to travel from Ludewa, Makete to Njombe but now it is taking only four hours," said Dr Magufuli.
Moreover, Dr Magufuli said the government is also planning to construct Manda port in Ludewa District.
He said the port will boost both social and economic activities by transporting various commodities. He added that in the past five years the government also constructed a modern market and bus stand in Njombe region.
Dr Magufuli said the government spent 41.1bn/- for construction and improvement of hospitals, health centres and dispensaries in the region.
"We are finalising the construction of a regional hospital, three district hospitals and we have renovated two district hospitals," he said.
Moreover, the government constructed 18 health centres, 35 houses for health workers and 12 ambulances. In the past five years, the government has also injected 44.108bn/- in the education sector.
He said 21.39bn/- was spent on offering free education in the region while 22.169bn/- was used to implement various projects under the education sector.
Dr Magufuli said a total of 88 water projects worth 24.58bn/-were executed in the area. He said so far the access to water stands at 84 per cent in urban areas and 72.4 per cent in rural areas.
"Other water projects are still under construction and a total of 6.6bn/- is set for the purpose," he noted.
Moreover, Dr Magufuli said Njombe Region is under a special water project that covers 28 towns across the country and that 121bn/- has already been allocated for three major water projects in the region.
He said the three projects will be implemented in Makambako (42bn/-), Wanging'ombe (50bn/-) and Njombe (29bn/-). Dr Magufuli noted that 290 out of 381 Njombe villages have already been connected with power.
"I can assure you that we are going to electrify all 91 remaining villages soon after the election. We have managed to connect Njombe Region by 76 per cent, therefore the remaining 34per cent won't be the problem," he explained.
Dr Magufuli added that the government is looking forward to implementing the two major hydropower projects at Lumakali and Luhiji, which are expected to generate 580MW upon its completion.