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The African Development Bank Group President, Donald Kaberuka, recently visited Tanzania where he paid a courtesy call on Zanzibar’s President, Amani Karume. He also met with Tanzania’s Head of State, Jakaya Kikwete, and other top government officials with whom he discussed bilateral relations between the Bank and Tanzania, as well as current development issues in the country.
The AfDB President also met with the Secretary-General of the East African Community, Juma Mwapachu, as well as the local press before leaving the country.
President Kaberuka’s entourage on the trip included the Executive Director for Tanzania, Gerald Zirimwabagabo, Principal Transport engineer, Mumina Wa-Kyendo and his personal assistant, Jacques Kabale.
As part of his official visit, Mr. Kaberuka visited some Bank-funded projects both on the mainland and on the island of Zanzibar where he said he was impressed with what was going on in the country.
Mr. Kaberuka also signed a US$74 million loan agreement with Tanzania’s Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zakia Meghji, which he said would facilitate the development of road infrastructure in rural areas which play a significant role in the country’s economic development. He also used the occasion to reaffirm the Bank’s commitment to helping Tanzania in its poverty reduction efforts.
The ADB and Tanzania also signed an agreement for the cancellation of US$645 million which Tanzania owes the Bank.
Since starting operations in Tanzania in 1971, the Bank Group has, as of 31st July 2006, approved 65 loans and 28 grants to finance 85 operations. Of the 85 projects approved, 68 have been completed, 4 were cancelled, while work on 13 operations is in progress and a signing ceremony will be held to launch the Second Poverty Reduction Support Loan which was approved on 28 June 2006.
The total commitment on these operations, net of cancellations, stands at UA 923.62 million, equivalent to about US$ 1.3 billion, with about 6% from the ADB window, 93% from African Development Fund (ADF) and 1% from Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). Multi-sector operations had the largest share, accounting for about 30% of total commitments, net of cancellations, followed by transport 21%, agriculture 20%, public utilities 19%, social sector 8%, while mining accounts for 2%.
Created in 1964 to promote the economic development and social progress of African countries, the Bank Group has, from 1967 to 2005, approved a total of 2,988 loans and grants amounting to UA 36.69 billion, equivalent to US$ 54.28 billion, to achieve these objectives.