Tanzania Gets US$ 75 Million Poverty Reduction Loan and US$ 645 million Debt Relief

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Tanzania Gets US$ 75 Million Poverty Reduction Loan and US$ 645 million Debt Relief

Tunis, 11 August 2006 – The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Mr. Donald Kaberuka and the Tanzanian Finance Minister, Mrs. Zakia Meghji,  on Wednesday in Dar es Salaam signed a loan agreement of  50 million Units of Account, equivalent to US$ 74 million or 926 billion Tanzanian Shillings, to support the government’s poverty reduction efforts and to improve social indicators in the country.

The loan will help the country implement its National Strategy for Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction (MKUKUTA), as well as Zanzibar’s Programme for Economic Progress (MKUSA).

Speaking during the occasion, President Kaberuka reaffirmed the Bank’s continued commitment to supporting poverty alleviation programmes in Tanzania.

"I am personally impressed with what is going on in the Mainland and Zanzibar with regard to economic development, he said, adding that the loan would facilitate the development of road infrastructure in rural areas which play a pivotal role in the country’s economic development.

The Tanzanian finance minister, Mrs. Meghji, for her part, noted that the AfDB remains a key partner in Tanzania’s development and joint assistance strategy, which focuses on achieving acceptable and efficient results.

"Mr. President, the proceeds of this loan will also enable the government to implement policies in thematic areas to speed up rural and private sector development besides improving the quality of life and social well-being of Tanzanians in general," she said.

In the past five years, Tanzania’s economic reform efforts have gathered momentum and there is a more determined and coherent approach to the daunting task of poverty reduction. The Government has demonstrated a strong commitment to reforms and there is now a greater sense of ownership of the country’s reform process which has greatly increased donor confidence in the country. The loan is provided within the context of a framework grouping fourteen donors.

The Bank and Tanzania also signed a debt cancellation agreement within the framework of the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) under which the AfDB will cancel a total of UA 415.27 million, equivalent to US$ 645 million which Tanzania owes the Bank. 

The ADB Group started operations in Tanzania in 1971. To date, its commitments in the country stand at US$ 1.3 billion in 85 operations.

* 1 UA = USD 1.48386 = TZS 1,853.77 as at 09/08/2006

External Relations and Communication Unit – Tel.: +216 71 10 29 16 – Fax: +216 71 10 37 52 – E-mail: comuadb@afdb.org

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