Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Friday, 28 July 2017: Today the Ministry of Finance and Planning of the United Republic of Tanzania has hosted a contract signing ceremony for the upgrading of the Kidatu – Ifakara road to bitumen standard. Ms. Amina Shaaban, the Deputy Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Finance and Planning and the Contractor, M/s Reynolds Construction Company signed the TSH 101 billion contract. The works are jointly funded by UKAid, the EU and USAID.
In 2009, the Government of Tanzania established the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT) initiative to attract greater investment in the sector to increase the incomes of smallholder farmers.
This upgrading of the 67 km section of road and of the Great Ruaha Bridge supports the Government’s Southern Agriculture Growth Corridor in Tanzania (SAGCOT) initiative and will significantly improve access to markets for farmers in the Kilombero valley and stimulate greater investment in agriculture and agro-processing.
During the signing ceremony, the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania and the EAC, H.E. Ambassador Roeland van de Geer said: "On behalf of UKAid, USAID and EU, let me confirm our full support to the transport sector in Tanzania and our willingness to jointly operate also in the future to contribute to ensure better access to market for agricultural products, through improvement of the rural roads and their maintenance and through the development and efficient management of multimodal regional corridors".
Agriculture is critical for Tanzania’s economic growth and poverty reduction. Over 70 percent of Tanzanians earn their livelihoods from the sector, and there is significant scope to increase productivity, incomes and job creation, particularly for women.
The representative from Ministry of Works, Transport and Communication said: “I take this opportunity, to thank the EU, UKAid, and USAID for financing the upgrading of Kidatu – Ifakara road (67km) and the Great Ruaha Bridge. The project will complement the Government efforts to enhance agricultural production in SAGCOT and improve accessibility along Mikumi – Kidatu – Ifakara – Mahenge/ Lupilo – Malinyi - Londo – Lumecha (Songea) road."
Ms Amina Shaaban – Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Planning said “Infrastructure is probably the single most important need for Tanzania to develop. Infrastructures have been identified as a cross-sectoral driver of growth and central element of a productive business climate, as well as an important factor for enhancing efficiency in agriculture”.