SINGIDA: PRESIDENT Samia Suluhu Hassan has underscored the government’s commitment to continue strengthening roads’ network and constructing bridge infrastructures across the country, in bringing development to the people.
Dr Samia said this during the laying of foundation stone for the ongoing construction of Mkiwa-Itigi-Noranga road in Manyoni District, Singida Region on Sunday.
The 56.9 kilometres road stretch being constructed at a tarmac level at a cost of 67.2bn/- with an addition of 1.01 US million dollars, is part of Makongorosi-Rungwa-Itigi-Mkiwa road covering 413-km, which connects Tanzania and Zambia to the south as well as the central corridor from Mkiwa area to Singida – Dodoma highway.
President Samia said the government’s efforts are geared towards connecting all districts and regions in the country with tarmac roads.
According to Head of State, recently the government completed the construction of various roads and bridges in the central corridor including Sabiti Bridge stretching 82 metres, Manyoni-Itigi-Chaya road (85km), Tabora-Nyaua-Chaya (166.5km) and Tabora-Koga-Mpanda (360km).
Dr Samia said other completed tarmac roads include Nega-Tabora Road (116km), Tabora-Ndono-Urambo road (87km), Dodoma-Mayamaya-Mela road (47km), Mwigumbi-Maswa road (50.5km), Maswa-Bariadi (50km) and Braiadi-Lamadi road (71 km).
“I have mentioned all these roads so that you can see the efforts of the government in connecting our regions and our districts in the country… I have mentioned the central corridor only but in north, south and southern highland, the work is ongoing as well as in other regions,” she said.
Elaborating, Dr Samia noted that the road she laid the foundation stone was important for the regions of Singida, Mbeya, Tabora and others to connect the country to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc, adding that the completion of the road will stimulate production and business activities by facilitating transport and transportation of agricultural products, minerals and forest products.
“Due to the importance of this road, I am instructing the Minister for Finance, Dr Mwigulu Nchemba and the Minister for Works, Mr Innocent Bashungwa, to ensure the construction of the road stretch is undertaken non-stop,” she pointed out.
Indeed, massive road infrastructure projects being implemented across the country places Tanzania among sub-Saharan African nations with largest road networks.
The country currently has a total road network of 91,049km of which 33,012km are national roads and the remaining 58,037km as district, urban and feeder roads.
The Tanzanian government has over the years taken deliberate measures and committed resources towards expanding the road network and leverage Tanzania’s comparative advantage by acting as a bridge economy that links the EAC and SADC regional markets.
This is crucial for the East African nation to tap into her enormous potential as a logistics hub, linking the markets of the EAC and SADC regional trading blocs.
As the government says in the Third National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III), 2021/22-2025/26, geography and size are two of Tanzania’s comparative advantages. Tanzania is the 30th largest country in the world with over 945,087 km2 of land and water bodies.
It also borders eight other countries, six of which are landlinked, and is a member of three regional trading blocs with a combined market size of over 600 million people and a total Gross Domestic Product of approximately over 1.0 trillion US dollars.
Road infrastructures that will create solid intra and inter-linkages will crucially cement Tanzania’s position as an ideal location for investments in market-seeking industries that target the emerging African markets in EAC and SADC.
Earlier, President Samia laid the foundation stones at the Imbele Primary School, whose construction cost is 493.4m/- under the BOOST project and the Mwanamwema Secondary School dormitories and classrooms under the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Programme (SEQUIP).
President Samia said the aim of school construction projects is to ensure that education services are brought closer to the people and reduce the risk of students walking for a long distance.
She also said that the government aims to reduce student congestion in classes and increase productivity and efficiency in teaching.
“I have visited classes at Imbele Primary School and found that each class has 45 pupils. We have made a big step from 120 students to 45 and this is being done in all regions in Tanzania,” she added.
President made several stop overs on the way to Singida including at Sagala, where she called on the leaders and people who live in the valley areas to start taking precautions during coming rain season (Vuli) with experts predicting El Nino to pounce.
Dr Samia also said that the availability of fresh and clean water in Singida Region will increase from the current 70 per cent to reach 85 per cent by 2025 as directed by the CCM manifesto.
Addressing the people in Ikungi District, the Head of State commended the Police Force for the construction of a modern building, which reflected value for money.
Dr Samia also called on the residents of Ikungi not to take the law into their hands, instead, they should take all cases to the relevant authorities.
President Samia is on a three-day working visit where today she is expected to speak in a public meeting at Bombardier ground in Singida.