Tanzania: Kibaha-Morogoro Expressway on Course

HISTORY is going to be written as the government declared, on Wednesday, the first ever country's expressway is set for construction from next year.

The 215-kilometre motorway to snake from Kibaha to Morogoro will be constructed under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode, as the government gears up to effectively engage the private sector in the construction of the transport infrastructures.

"This process has started and by April or May next year, we would have already acquired a contractor to start the project," Minister for Works and Transport, Prof Makame Mbarawa, announced in Dar es Salaam.

Prof Mbarawa pointed out that a private investor will inject funds for the project construction and equally, be in charge of running it, adding that the new expressway will run alongside the current normal highway.

"An investor will be charging toll fee for those who would wish to drive on it to reach fast to the destinations. To pass on this road is optional because the normal road will still be in use," Prof Mbarawa stated.

He made revelations at the 15th Annual Joint Transport Sector Review Meeting (JTSR 2022) held in the city.

The meeting, which was organised by the Works and Transport Ministry and President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Governments) is in collaboration with development partners in the transport sector.

Elaborating on the Express Way, he said it would be a four-lane and two in every side.

"Development cannot be done by the government alone; the private sector must be involved. This country is so big, therefore the construction of transport infrastructures should engage private sector to invest," he argued.

He assured that the government was willing to engage private sector in projects development through engineering, procuring etc.

However, he encouraged the country's private sector players to participate in the tender processes.

In relation to what the minister said, Tanzania National Roads Agency (TANROADS) Acting Chief Executive Officer, Mr Kingdom Mbangula, said procurement for the project has started and transaction advisor was making project documentation.

"We are well prepared to ensure that the project is completed in time," Mr Mbangula assured when speaking during an interview at the sidelines of the meeting.

Giving a picture of the envisaged Express Way, he said the minimum driving speed would be 120-kilometre per hour and it will not have humps.

"The feasibility study has already been done on the area for the construction of this road. There will be no effects to citizens along the project area," he said.

Though the cost of the project and a period for investment returns to prospectus investor was yet to be established, Mr Mbangula, however, hinted that the experience shows that such kind of investments takes about 20 years for the investor to make returns.

Earlier, Permanent Secretary of the Works and Transport Ministry, Mr Gabriel Migire, spoke about objectives of the meeting, saying it meant to review the agreed issues in the previous meeting, discuss issues and make a way forward.

Since last year, the meeting has been held alongside the exhibitions in order to create awareness.

"The question which we should answer is how we should ensure that the transport modes complement each other rather competing with each other," Mr Migire challenged the participants.

African Development Bank (AfDB) Country Manager Patricia Laverley, who spoke on behalf of development partners, assured of continued support to the transport sector in the country.

"Indeed, Tanzania is exceptional, it's one of countries with allocating huge share of its budget to infrastructure development," Dr Laverley stated.

She underscored the importance of effectively engaging private sector in the transport sector development.

"What should be done is to encourage more private sector investment in the sector considering that Tanzania is huge in terms of geographical size," she said.

On his part, Acting Director General of the Tanzania Meteorological Authority (TMA), Wilbert Muruke, said the authority has been major stakeholder in the transport sector through issuance of weather forecast report which helps during implementation of the projects as well as maintenances.

"During construction of the infrastructures, contractors use the weather report to know the right weather season for construction," he said.

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