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Japan to finance Rusumo bridge, Dar road projects

Dar es Salaam: Japan has granted Tanzania nearly 40bn/- for construction of Rusumo Bridge on the Tanzania-Rwanda border and improvement of Dar es Salaam infrastructure in a bid to reduce traffic jams in the city centre. According to a statement read by the Minister for Finance, Mustafa Mkulo in Dar es Salaam yesterday during the signing of the exchange of notes and agreement of the 39bn/- grant from the government of Japan will be for the construction of Rusumo International Bridge and One Stop Border facilities.

Mkulo signed the two Exchange of Notes and Grants agreements for Tanzania, while the Japanese government was represented by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) chief in Tanzania Yukihide Katsuta.

The 769m/- that was provided under the second Exchange of Notes will be used to exclusively finance the detailed design activities for improvement of transport capacity in Dar es Salaam .

Mkulo said the detailed design activities will pave the way towards the widening of Kilwa-Kamata intersection road. 'We sincerely hope after the detailed design the government of Japan will support the implementation of this important project,' said the Minister. Mkulo said expansion of the road will contribute to reduction in traffic jams in the central area of Dar es Salaam city.

The government of Japan has been progressively supporting the road improvement projects which include the recently completed Kilwa road, the ongoing Bagamoyo road and the TAZARA intersection road project which is under JICA’s study to help reduce the growing traffic jams.

Katsuta said they have a long history of project implementation in the city, adding: 'Measures to mitigate the issue of traffic congestion are not limited to physical works.'

He said the combination of both physical and non-physical projects was important from the view point of effectiveness and efficiency. 'I hope the improvement of traffic condition through well-coordinated projects implementation can contribute to the increase of attractiveness of Dar es Salaam city as a gateway to and from the international market,' Katsuta added.

On Rusumo project Katsuta said construction of Rusumo International Bridge is expected to contribute to trade facilitation not only for Tanzania and Rwanda but also for other neighbouring countries such as Burundi and DR Congo. 'I do hope this project will lead to economic development of the states in this region through good collaboration with our technical cooperation project on customs for the five partner states of the East African Community (EAC).

The existing Rusumo Bridge which provides a link between Tanzania and Rwanda was constructed about 40 years ago with a capacity to safely carry 32 tonnes gross vehicle weight which does not favour the current plying traffic of vehicles with gross weight of up to 60 tonnes. Tanzania signed and Exchange Notes with Japan on 24th March this year that provided them with grant assistance to support the survey and drawings of the construction of Rusumo International Bridge and One Stop Border Post Facilities.

31 August 2011
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