The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund a subsidiary of African Development Bank approved a loan of around $116 million to the Tanzanian government to upgrade a 160-km Mnivata-Newala- Masisi road corridor in the southern part of the country.
The project will advance Tanzania’s current five-year Development Plan (2021-2026) and aligns with the Bank Group’s Country Strategy Paper (2021-2025) which emphasizes sustainable infrastructure for a competitive economy and an improved private sector business environment for job creation, as well as two High-5 strategic priorities: Integrate Africa and Improve the quality of life for the people of Africa
The Bank’s loan represents 98.71% of the project cost; the government of Tanzania will
Provide the remaining 1.29% in funding.
The project will upgrade the roadway, including the 84-meter Mwiti Bridge, to bituminous standard.
The works also have social components, including the provision of potable water, education and medical infrastructure, the establishment of cashew nut processing units, and extension of entrepreneurial training to women and youth.
The upgrade is expected to open up rural areas in the region and enhance the Mtwara Development Corridor, which links Mtwara Port and Mbamba Bay port on Lake Nyasa.
Exporters, importers, small-scale cross-border traders, farmers, transporters are all expected to benefit.
Bank Director General for East Africa Nnenna Nwabufo said the development will see the improvement in connectivity and open opportunities to young people and woman in the corridor and the periphery areas.
“The periodic isolation of such a significant population worsens vulnerability and undermines social inclusion. Improved road connectivity would therefore build the resilience of the people and widen livelihood opportunities within the Mtwara Development Corridor and the surrounding districts,” said Nwabufo
Overall, the five-year project will improve mobility and accessibility for about 1.1 million people in Mtwara, Tandahimba, Newala and Masisi districts and facilitate integration with neighbouring Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia.
Currently, the districts of Tandahimba and Newala, with an estimated combined population of
509,000 people, are mostly cut off, while connection with the Mtwara port area for essential supplies is severely constrained during rainy seasons due to the state of the road.
At 30 June 2021, the Bank Group’s active portfolio in Tanzania comprised 22 operations (19
public and 3 private) with a total commitment of about $2.4 billion.