Tanzania is set to receive US $1.46bn loan from the Standard Chartered Group, the British multinational banking conglomerate towards construction of phase II of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
Minister for Finance and Planning Phillip Mpango, confirmed the news and said the Standard Chartered Bank Group Chief Executive, Bill Winters is in agreement to grant the loan for the SGR which will begin from Morogoro to Makutupora in Dodoma Region.
“We are currently building Phase I of the SGR project that runs from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro. Afterwards we will extend it to Makutupora in the second phase. In the later phases, we will connect the SGR to Isaka and Mwanza and, ultimately, to Rusumo, working in close cooperation with our Rwandan counterparts until it reaches Kigali,” said Phillip Mpango.
“As a bank, we have the noble duty of ensuring that we play a significant role in financing (the country’s socioeconomic development),” said Bill Winters .
High-speed electric railway
The Minister added that works on the the US $1.92 bn high-speed electric railway which is part of phase one at Dar es Salaam-Morogoro is progressing well, with the Turkish firm Yapi Merkezi Insaat VE Sanayi As building the 422 km part of the line.
In March this year, President John Magufuli laid the foundation stone for the Morogoro-Makutupora section, covering 426 km.It is estimated that the Standard Gauge Railway upon completion, will create 30,000 direct employment opportunities and some 60,000 indirect jobs.
Additionally, Dr Mpango briefed the visiting CEO Mr. Winters on a number of development projects that the government is undertaking to improve the country’s economic infrastructure.
The projects include the purchase of state-of-the-art passenger aircraft for the national carrier, Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) and the 2,100MW Stiegler’s Gorge hydroelectric project.
“Tanzania is only second to Brazil in terms of having the highest number of tourist attractions in the world. However, we currently receive less than two million visitors a year. This calls for prompt action so that the tourism sector brings in more of the much-needed foreign exchange earnings for the general good of the economy,” clarified Phillip Mpango.