On 27th May 2021, the World Bank approved three development projects in Tanzania with a combined financing of USD 875 million from the International Development Association (IDA).
The loans will help improve rural road access and employment opportunities, strengthen the learning environment and alignment of priority education programs with the labor market at selected higher education institutions, and increase access to high-quality broadband internet services.
Specifically, the financing will supports the following projects:
- The Roads to Inclusion and Socioeconomic Opportunities project (RISE). USD 300 million will give more Tanzanians in rural areas access to roads in good condition to enable them to access services and economic opportunities. RISE will upgrade roads with climate-resilient approaches in six rural districts across four regions–Geita, Tanga, Lindi, and Iringa–promoting a sustainable model for routine maintenance, removing bottlenecks that inhibit the improvement of rural roads, and incorporating people-centered community engagement approaches. RISE will also generate around 35,000 civil works jobs, including 19,000 community-based routine maintenance contracts involving rural communities, with at least 20 percent of these jobs held by women. The project will also assist in laying the foundation for a greater level of ambition for inclusive sustainable rural road asset management in Tanzania.
- Higher Education for Economic Transformation project (HEET). USD 425 million aims to strengthen the learning environment, ensure greater alignment of priority degree programs to labor market needs, and improve the management of the higher education system. HEET will achieve its objective by (i) strengthening and building the capacity of 14 public higher education institutions in both Mainland and Zanzibar to become high-quality centers of learning, focusing on areas with the greatest potential for growth over the coming decade; and (ii) enhancing the management of the higher education system through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and subsidiary agencies. Among the key results, participating universities will add or modernize over 260 academic programs within priority areas, with over 100,000 students benefiting from direct interventions to enhance learning.
- The Digital Tanzania Project (DTP). USD 150 million will increase access to high-quality broadband internet services for government, businesses, and citizens, and improve the government’s capacity to deliver digital public services. This will be achieved through four components: (i) the digital ecosystem: strengthening the laws, policies, regulations, institutional capacity, and human capacity needed to promote ICT infrastructure investment, market competitiveness, digital engagement, job creation, and innovation; (ii) digital connectivity: ensuring access to affordable, high-quality internet services for all citizens, including in rural areas, and for critical government institutions; and (iii) digital platforms and services: building the technical capacity, skills, institutions, and local digital infrastructure for the government to deliver services to citizens and conduct its own business digitally. By the end of DTP’s implementation, more than 75 percent of Tanzania’s population will be covered by a mobile broadband network signal (3G or higher); some 425 government ministries, departments and agencies will benefit from broadband internet service; and a minimum of 40 percent of citizens (aged 15 and above) will be able to use the internet. The number of monthly transactions accessing a public service via the internet or a mobile phone will increase from 200,000 to at least 500,000.
Hafez Ghanem, Regional Vice President for the World Bank stressed that the approval of the three projects reflects the Bank’s strong support to Tanzania. “We want to continue and even strengthen our partnership with Tanzania in its efforts to fight poverty and ensure a better living standard for its people. Investments supported by the three projects will help accelerate growth as they expand access to economic opportunities, especially for women and youth,” he said.
And Mara Warwick, World Bank Country Director in Tanzania, added that “The experiences of successfully transitioning economies have shown that strong human capital is fundamental for long-term growth and the development of an economically secure middle class. These projects prioritize such investments, which will enable households at all income levels in Tanzania to benefit from growth.”
The World Bank’s active portfolio in Tanzania includes 17 national International Development Association (IDA) projects with total net commitments of USD 3.86 billion. Key sectors supported include transport (23%), urban development (7%), education (20%), energy (17%), water (13%), social protection (10%), health/nutrition (5%), environment/natural resources (4%) and governance and poverty projects make up 2% of the portfolio.
In April 2021, the recently appointed President of Tanzania, Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan has met and held talks with the Resident Director of the World Bank Ms. Mara Warwick.
The Director assured President Samia that the World Bank will continue cooperating with Tanzania in its efforts to boost the economy and social welfare in line with the National Development Vision 2025, and that the World Bank has already approved a number of projects worth USD 4.9 billion and is likely to add another five projects worth USD 1.15 billion, and will add even more projects in 2022.