News Column

Bank Approves U.S.$50 Million for Tanzania Urban Areas

June 9, 2014

The World Bank has approved a $50 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to provide continuing support to Tanzania's efforts to improve the quality of life for urban residents through improved fiscal management and improved infrastructure.

The project will benefit some 1.4 million Tanzanians, of which nearly half are women, the World Bank said in a statement availed to East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam last week.

The Tanzania Strategic Cities Project (TSCP) focuses on eight urban centres: Mwanza, Arusha, Mbeya, Mtwara, Kigoma, Tanga, Dodoma and Ilemela.

The Danish foreign aid agency, DANIDA, will also provide an additional $6 million to support critical complementary activities.

"The project supports the establishment of well-functioning and productive urban centers in Tanzania, which are essential for accelerating job creation and catalyzing the transformation of the Tanzanian economy and reducing poverty throughout the country," the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania," Philippe Dongier said.

Launched in 2010, the original TSCP project notched significant gains including better fiscal management at local government levels, improved urban governance and planning, construction of first-ever sanitary landfills as well as storm drains, bus terminals and street lights.

The project includes support for a new urban management tool (the Local Government Revenue Collection Information System, 'LGRCIS') that uses a GIS platform and will support local governments tax reporting, revenue collection, operations and maintenance, urban planning, permitting and land management systems.

Dongier said the modernized system allows online payments including via mobile phones. This system will improve how local governments collect taxes, with significant gains in transparency, accountability, and customer-focused timely responses.

Onur Ozlu and Andre Bald, the World Bank Co-Task Team Project Leaders agreed that Tanzanian cities are the locus of formal and informal activity and account for over 50% of the country's economic growth.

"Yet, institutional capacity and access to basic infrastructure has lagged significantly. This project will support the Government of Tanzania's efforts to create dynamic urban areas that are conducive to inclusive growth and job creation," Ozlu said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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