The FINANCIAL -- Residents of seven rapidly urbanizing cities in Tanzania will benefit from funding to scale up infrastructure investments and promote growth, the World Bank Group announced on February 28.
The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved up to $130 million in additional financing for the Tanzania Strategic Cities Project (TSCP) covering the seven strategically important cities of Tanga, Arusha, Mwanza, Kigoma, Dodoma, Mbeya and Mtwara, to enable them keep up with the pace of rapid urbanization.
“Improving services in Tanzania’s medium-sized cities is critical to support the Government’s industrialization goals. These cities play a key role to strengthen broader regional development, to connect people with markets, and provide the foundation to promote the growth of industries across the country.” says Bella Bird, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia and Burundi. “We have seen significant gains in terms of connectivity, service provision, and institutional capacity for urban management as a result of earlier investment through TSCP.”
With the development objective of improving the quality of and access to basic urban services in participating Local Government Authorities; the TSCP has been under implementation since September 2010 focusing on three components; namely: Core urban infrastructure and services; institutional strengthening; and Implementation support.
TSCP was initially financed by $175.5 million of which $163 million was from the World Bank and $12.5 million was from Denmark. The project first received additional financing in 2014 amounting to $50 million from the World Bank and $6 million from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA). This is therefore the second time it is getting additional resources, according to the World Bank.
Prior to the project intervention, participating municipalities had mainly dirt roads and low-levels of infrastructure investments. Since its implementation, the TSCP has built 141km of urban roads, 15km of major drains, 6 bus stations, 317 solid waste collection points and 5 sanitary landfills, benefitting more than 1.2 million residents. The project has also built Tanzania’s very first sanitary landfills, while developing the capacity of and establishing a community of practice for landfill operators.
“These development impacts and results are highly visible, and the design and quality of works including roads which have enhanced safety features to cater to the non-motorized traffic have set a higher standard for public infrastructure across all Tanzanian cities,” says Andre Bald, Program Leader for the World Bank.
The TSCP has also piloted the innovative and successful Geographical Information System (GIS)-based Local Government Revenue Collection and Information System (LGRCIS), which has contributed an average of 30 percent growth in own source revenues for the seven cities in the first year of operation. Due to its demonstrable potential to reduce government’s fiscal pressures and to encourage local governments to be less reliant on central transfers for service delivery, the Government of Tanzania is rolling out LGRCIS to all Urban Local Government Authorities. This e-government solution – moving from a paper-based to GIS system, and from a cash to cashless system – will be more convenient and efficient for citizens, and improve the performance and accountability at the LGA level.
With the scale up of operations under the new tranche of additional financing the project will promote better publicly accessible roads, improved drainage, and more robust planning and financial management practices.
In addition to the TSCP, the World Bank is providing support to Tanzania’s urban development through several other operations including the Dar es Salaam Metropolitan Development Project; the Urban Local Government Strengthening Program which is a Program-for-Results; and the Zanzibar Urban Services Project, as well as other technical assistance and analytical programs.