The World Bank Vice President for Africa Region, Makhtar Diop, will visit Tanzania from today January 24th to 26th, 2017.
Diop will hold high level discussions with President Dr. John Magufuli as well as other top Government officials including the Minister of Finance, Dr. Phillip Mpango and Prof. Benno Ndulu, Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania. In addition, Diop will meet with representatives of the private sector and civil society.
The World Bank is currently supporting 27 national projects amounting to $4.2 billion in addition to seven regional operations through which Tanzania accesses $551 million in financing, reaching a total commitment of $4.75 billion. The bulk of this support (22 percent) is towards the transport sector, followed by urban development (20 percent).
During Diop’s visit, President Magufuli is expected to officially launch the operations of the Dar es Salaam Bus Rapid Transit which was financed by the World Bank through the Second Central Transport Project (CTCP2). Construction of the Phase One of the BRT infrastructure was completed in 2015 and consists of a 21km dedicated trunk lane, five terminals; 27 stations; seven feeder stations; three connector stations with the existing public transport system; as well as two bus depots. The BRT operations commenced in 2016 after the arrival of buses operated by the U-Dart Company under an interim operator’s concession while procurement processes are underway for a full service operator.
“The impact of this new high capacity transportation system on Dar es Salaam will be quite significant as residents continue to adapt to it,” says Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia and Malawi. “With its population expected to reach 10 million in 2030, Dar es Salaam needs a well-functioning transit system to relieve congestion and to promote its productivity and competitiveness as a commercial hub which are vital for further economic growth and improvement of the quality of life of its citizens.”
While here, Diop is also expected to hold a forum with young women and men from various universities in order to get their perspectives on Tanzania’s development opportunities.
Diop has served as the World Bank’s Vice President for Africa since May 2012. Under his leadership, the World Bank committed $9.4 billion to Sub-Saharan Africa in FY 2016 to help tackle development challenges such as increasing food security and agricultural productivity; improving access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy, creating economic opportunities for Africa’s youth; and responding quickly and effectively to emergency situations such as the recent Ebola epidemic.
Before taking up this position, Diop was World Bank Country Director for Brazil, based in Brasilia, between January 2009 and April 2012.