Govt commits to implement SADC projects

THE government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring the implementation of Southern African Development Community (SADC) projects in the country including the Songwe River Basin Project.

The assurance was made by representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Ms Elizabeth Matiko. Who noted that Tanzania is a direct beneficiary to a total of 10 regional projects which fall under SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2020- 2030).

She was speaking recently at a workshop that involved Tanzania SADC Non-State Actors Platform which consists of Non-Governmental Organisations, private sector players, Farmer Organisations and the Media.

The workshop was coordinated by the Eastern Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF), SADC-RISDP is a strategy which seeks to deepen Southern Africa regional integration and foster development which creates a peaceful, inclusive, competitive, middle to high-income industrialised region where all citizens enjoy sustainable economic well-being, justice, and freedom.

She said Songwe River Basin Development Programme as one of the projects aims to improve the living condition of the basin population by facilitating irrigation, electricity generation and improved water and sanitation services.

Ms Matiko said the government will ensure that it is fully implemented and attains its targets.

“The government is full committed in making sure that development projects in the country are implemented on time, and the Songwe river basin project is among the core projects that the government focuses on,” she said.

On other hand, Ms Matiko noted that contracts for Tanzania-Zambia Interconnector project, which is implemented by the Ministry of Energy, have already been signed.

“The project will be implemented under four Lots, for a period of 24 months. Challenges encountered include budget deficit and Zambia is yet to confirm the availability of funds to implement the project on her side,” she said.

She also said the extension of ICT Broadband from Tanzania to Mozambique and DRC has been completed and awaits the completion of infrastructure on Mozambique’s part to proceed with the connection. The extension of the ICT Broadband Backbone to the DRC is at the feasibility study stage.

Last week, the Eastern and Southern Africa Small Scale Farmers Forum (ESAFF) came up with joint action plans for 2024 that will strengthen partnership with other stakeholders.

The stakeholders include Tanzania SADC, Non-Sate Actors (NSA) platform, Ministry of East Africa Community and Foreign Affairs and SADC Parliamentary Forum.

The ESAFF Regional Coordinator, Mr Joseph Mzinga said it was time to convene a larger meeting that will also map other stakeholders to be involved in strengthening the partnership that exists.

Mr Mzinga said there is a need for formalising steering committee that will enhance coordination of scope, budget, timeline and methods used.

“Steering committee will meet from time to time and discuss those topics to see where we are and where we are going. They also reset any topics if necessary to stay on track,” he said.

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