PLANS are underway to upgrade Morogoro—Dodoma road to a four-lane highway to improve road transport between the capital city and central transport corridor.
Finance and Planning Minister Dr Phillip Mpango has asked the African Development Bank (AfDB) for a soft loan to upgrade the over 270-kilometre stretch.
The minister made the request at his meeting with AfDB Group Chief Executive Officer Cheptoo Amos here on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.
“This road was constructed long time ago. Trucks that travel to Mwanza and Kigoma regions as well as to neighbouring Rwanda and Burundi pass here, in Dodoma. You can clearly see the road has started to wear out,” the statement quoted Dr Mpango as making his argument.
The minister asked the AfDB Executive Officer to include the Morogoro-Dodoma highway in the bank’s future financed projects to facilitate implementation of the four-lane highway.
“After Dodoma became the capital city, we need safer, more efficient and more sustainable road transport services. There are many road accidents because vehicles travelling to Dar es Salaam and Dodoma have to use the single lane road,” he said.
AfDB has approved 415.3bn/- loan to finance construction of the 110-kilometre ring-road around Dodoma city this year to divert traffic not destined to the city centre.
The proposed Dodoma city outer ring road project comprises construction to bitumen standard of a new dual-carriage way outer ring road of 110.2 kilometres around Dodoma city centre.
Its implementation is planned over a four-year period at 214.69 million US dollars.
Mr Amos who was in the country for a two-day official visit said AfDB will ensure Tanzania gets the loans for the strategic infrastructure projects, including the Morogoro-Dodoma highway upgrade.
However, Mr Amos challenged the private sector to use available grant and loan opportunities to develop the sector.
He said the private sector in Tanzania was in good position to secure finances and expertise necessary to boost their growth and development and alleviate poverty.
“The private sector in Tanzania has not utilised well the grant and loans window for private sector, let me ask you honourable minister to encourage the private sector to apply for loans to boost their capital and enhance efficiency,” he said.
He said AfDB is in the final stages to approve funds for construction of Msalato international airport on the outskirts of Dodoma city, adding that the bank had approved funding for Dodoma out-ring roads and new power generation projects, which will soon be presented at the bank’s board members.
He congratulated President John Magufuli, describing him as visionary leader who has brought radical economic changes and called on other countries in Africa to emulate Tanzania.
“When I landed at Julius Nyerere International Airport, I admired Terminal III building, Mfugale flyover on the way to the city centre, construction of the standard gauge railway, which continues at high pace and other infrastructure projects that I did not see when I came here last time,” he said.
He as well praised Dr Mpango for managing and ensuring the economy becomes strong as per the bank’s overarching objective to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in the continent.