|Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete|
TANZANIA IS GEARING to open up and also link itself with the world for business. A string of road projects prove this point. By the end of February reported
development bank, www.AfDB.org, the country
boasted of 15 road upgrade projects totalling 1371kilometers. The projects said
the bank, are at various stages of completion. A majority are more than 50
per cent complete.
This underscores the seriousness with which
is taking road construction. Just ten years ago, the country could hardly count four kilometres of tarmac
road per 1000 km2. Tanzania
That number has now risen to 6.7 km per 1000km2 and is slated to reach 8.9 km by 2016. This will ease economic activity both within the country and across its borders.
The projects are jointly funded by the government and donors. The largest financiers are the African development bank and JICA who, in the financial year 2010/11 contributed a combined 29.6 per cent of the US$ 494.51 million invested on roads. The Tanzanian government contributed 64.5 per cent .
Now African Development Fund (AFD), the soft loan lending window of the African
Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$237.1 million for road construction in
The project will enhance road linkage in Tanzania , raising paved roads coverage
to 8.9 Km per 1000KM2 from the current 6.7 km per 1000KM2.
The project will also link the country with her neighbours thus easing road
transport, not only in the country, but also in the region. Tanzania
The loan forms 65 per cent of the entire project cost estimated at US$360million. Other financiers of the project are: JICA, the Japanese development agency 29 per cent ($105 million) and the government of
($18 million). Tanzania
The project will tarmac 391 KM of road in the Tanzanian network namely: the 188 KM
-Babati and the
202KM Tunduru-Mangaka-Mtambaswala roads. Both roads are missing links on the
national and regional network. Dodoma
The Tunduru-Mangaka-Mtambaswala for instance lies in the Mtwara corridor, the transport hub originating from the
in the South of Tanzania. This corridor is a vital import/.export route for southern
Mtwara Port Tanzania and the
neighbouring countries- Mozambique,
Malawi and . The corridor is part of the
SADC Regional Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) whose goal is to “attract
private sector investment through adequate, reliable, cost-effective, efficient
and seamless transport systems to reduce the cost of doing business,” says the
evaluation report. Zambia
Up in central
the Dodoma-Babati road is a section of the trans-Africa highway that links several
regions in the country and also links it with her neighbours in the north
including Kenya and Ethiopia all the way to Cairo
and also the South right up to Cape Town in . South Africa
These sections says the bank's evaluation report, are extensions of other projects that the bank also partially funded. These include Dodoma-Iringa and Tunduru-Namtumbo roads. The
–Babati section will link with the 260
KM long Iringa-Dodoma road to the south and the 244 KM Arusha-Namanga-Athi-River
section to the east. This section is complete and operational Dodoma
On the Mtwara corridor, the Tunduru-Mangaka-Mtambaswala joins the 193km long Tunduru-Namtumbo road which links with the road and the Namtumbo-Songea road currently under construction.
Road upgrading opens up isolated areas linking them to centres of economic activity such as markets thus enabling trade which results in poverty reduction. The Tanzanian government has recognised the importance of roads in poverty alleviation in its development blue-print-vision 2025. In addition to developmental benefits, there are also benefits accruing to Motorists and travellers.
The benefits accruing to travelers include the reduction of travel time between destinations. For instance the journey between
Dodoma and Babati will be
cut by 40 per cent from 5 hours to three hours. Vehicle operating costs on the
same road are expected to shrink by 33 per cent from $0.824 per vehicle
kilometre to $0.555.
On Tunduru- Mangaka road travel time is expected to shrink to two and a half hour from three and a half hours a 30 per cent reduction. Vehicle operating costs on the same road are expected to shrink by 41per cent from $0.877 per vehicle kilometre to $0.516. Travel time between Tunduru and Mtambaswala is expected to shrink by 33 per cent to one hour from one and a half hours while vehicle operating costs will be cut by 43 per cent to $0.54 from $0.949. Apparently, this section is one of the most expensive sections to operate a vehicle in
The bank’s report says that it has mitigated the problem of delays in implementation of the projects by advance contracting to facilitate procurement and timely award of contracts. In effect, the projects that are expected to begin in 2013 and be completed within three years will start on time. A frequent traveller on Tanzanian roads has confirmed that there is some activity on the
-Babati road Dodoma