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Samia, WB top official to hold talks 

Samia, WB top official to hold talks 

THE World Bank Regional Vice-President for Eastern and Southern Africa, Dr Hafez Ghanem will arrive in the country  tomorrow for a two-day working visit.

During his visit, Dr Ghanem will hold high level discussions with President Samia Suluhu Hassan and other senior government officials and development partners.

According to a statement issued yesterday by the World Bank, the WB senior official will also meet with private sector leaders and representatives of Tanzania civil society.

“This becomes Dr Ghanem’s second visit to the country as the WB Vice-President,” read part of the press release.

Dr Ghanem’s visit   comes following President Samia’s bilateral meeting with World Bank Group President David Malpass in New York, the United States last Wednesday.

During their talks, President Samia and Mr Malpass discussed Tanzania’s efforts to mitigate the impacts of Covid-19 pandemic and accelerate vaccinations.

They also discussed on the country’s business environment and reforms being undertaken to facilitate private sector-led growth.

Mr Malpass assured President Samia that the World Bank will continue supporting Tanzania in building the economy by enhancing digital transformations through involvement of the private sector.

For her part, President Samia thanked the World Bank for its contributions in improving social service delivery and the fight against Covid-19 in the country.

The World Bank financing  portfolio in Tanzania includes 21 national projects with a total net commitments of 4.8 billion US dollars with transport, urban development, education, energy, water, social protection, environment, natural resources, digital development, and governance being the key   supported sectors.

“Tanzania is also part of five regional projects with its own total commitments reaching 698.3 million US dollars. These projects are supporting the energy, environment, and education sectors,” read further the statement.

Dr Ghanem,  an Egyptian and French national, is a development expert with over 30 years of experience. He leads relations with 26 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa and oversees over 280 projects totaling more than 49 billion US dollars.

Under his leadership, the World Bank has supported inclusive growth and poverty reduction by financing projects that boost human capital, support private sector development, raise agricultural productivity, improve access to infrastructure, build resilience to climate change, and promote regional integration.

He is passionate of intensifying assistance for fragile and conflict-affected states, promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and expanding access to electricity and digital services to promote economic development for the Eastern and Southern Africa Region. 

Dr Ghanem has also served as Vice President of the World Bank for the Middle East and North Africa from 2015 to 2018, overseeing the World Bank’s engagement with 20 countries.

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Author: DEOGRATIUS KAMAGI

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