The face of Dodoma is set to be lifted after Kuwait, through Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, expressed commitment to provide Tanzania with a loan, amounting to 207.3 million US dollars (466.4bn/-) for the construction of ring roads in the country’s capital city and Morogoro-Dodoma highway.
The commitment was expressed by Kuwaiti Ambassador to Tanzania, Jassem Ibrahim Al-Najem when he held talks with Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango in Dodoma, on Friday.
The soft loan to be issued by Kuwait comes at a time when President John Magufuli strives to modernise Dodoma, to meet infrastructure demands of the growing population fuelled by the government’s decision to shift its headquarters from Dar es Salaam to the central region. A ring road, which is also known as circumferential (high) way or orbital, is a road or a series of connected roads encircling a town, city or country.
The most common purpose of a ring road is to assist in reducing traffic volumes in the urban centre, such as by offering an alternate route around the city for drivers who do not need to stop in the city core. In this context, motorists driving towards or passing through Dodoma would not be forced to enter the city centre as the ring roads would allow them to use alternative routes.
During the talks, Ambassador Al-Najem said the roads to be built would significantly reduce traffic in the city centre. Currently, all motorists travelling to other parts of the country through Dodoma are forced to pass through the central business district (CBD).
For the ring roads that provide alternative routes in Dodoma to be easily accessed by motorists, part of the soft loan would also finance the construction of Morogoro - Dodoma highway (257 kilometres). The Kuwaiti diplomat said his country together with other development funds from Arabic states would continue cooperating with Tanzania, by financing development projects in various fields such as agricultural infrastructure.
In the past 40 years, the government of Kuwait, through its Kuwait Fund, has issued loans amounting to 608bn/- to Tanzania for the implementation of 14 economic projects in areas of communication infrastructure, agriculture, water, health and electricity.
The completed projects include Dar es Salaam - Somanga road that includes Mkapa Bridge, Mtera Hydropower Station, Mufindi Southern Paper Mills and the feasibility study for the expansion of Malindi Port in Zanzibar. Dr Mpango thanked the Kuwait government for the financial assistance, saying it would significantly complement government efforts to bring development to its people.
The Finance and Planning Minister said that last year, the Kuwait Fund issued a loan amounting to 115bn/- to the government for the construction of Chaya -Nyahua road (85 Kilometres) in Tabora Region and the implementation of clean and safe water projects in Same and Mwanga districts in Kilimanjaro Region.
Another venture implemented is the water project worth 77bn/- in Korogwe, Tanga Region. Kuwait will also finance refurbishment of Mnazi Mmoja Hospital in Zanzibar at the tune of 31bn/-.