08 October 2016, Washington — The World Bank (WB) plans to inject about 1.6 billion US dollars (3.5 trillion/-) in grants and soft loans to support the implementation of various development projects that include energy, agriculture, and infrastructure in Tanzania.
Central Bank Governor Professor Benno Ndulu said in Washington DC where experts and economists from Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar are attending this year’s WB and International Monetary Fund (IMF) conference.
The BoT chief said discussions regarding grants and soft loans were at an advanced stage. He explained that the funds would help the government to improve various infrastructure hence spurring economic and industrial development.
It will also help strengthen the private sector to improve trade and invest in technology. “Other than the grant, which is vital for the nation, we are also deliberating on how economic growth should reflect the actual status of people’s livelihood and thus alleviate abject poverty,” explained Prof Ndulu. He said, however, that WB has commended various steps taken by the government of Tanzania to improve its economic growth.
The governor stated that while average world economic growth was projected at 3.3 percent and recorded 1.5 per cent, yet Tanzania maintained a steady growth at 7 per cent. “Tanzania is among the fastest growing economies in the world.
The economy is expected to grow speedier following the discovery of natural gas and controlled inflation,” he added.
Finance and Planning Minister Dr. Philip Mpango explained that part of the funds amounting to 2 million US dollars will be allocated to improve the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco). The funds will also be used to repay escalating debts on social security schemes to allow them to serve their members better.
“We want the private sector to participate in the country’s economy.
The fund will help build the capacity of the local private sector,” he noted Dr. Mpango in Washington DC yesterday.
The minister said the government would take a fresh look at the number of contested taxes to allow a competitive private sector that spurs economic development. Zanzibar Finance and Planning Minister, Dr. Khalid Mohamed, thanked the bank for supporting a number of development projects in the Isles.
WB Deputy President in charge of African Affairs Mr. Makhtar Diop assured delegates from Tanzania of continued support to the East African country.
He lauded Tanzania’s efforts to fight poverty and improve her economy, stressing that the bank’s focus is to ensure that Tanesco is efficiently manned and operated using new and modern technology.