The World Bank has approved a $455-million loan to Tanzania under its International Development Assistance (IDA) programme to support financing of powerprojects in the East African nation. The financing from IDA, which gives grants or low-interest loans to the world’s poorest countries, will also fund construction of high voltage transmission infrastructure to connect Tanzania to regional power markets in southern and eastern Africa.
“The $455-million credit will financeconstruction of critical high voltage transmission infrastructure that will support the electrification of the southern and north western regions of Tanzania,” the World Bank said in a statement on Thursday. The government said it plans to raise two-trillion Tanzanian shillings ($880-million) in its budget for fiscal year 2018/19 (July-June) from concessional loans and grants to finance development projects.
Tanzania boasts reserves of over 57-trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, but faces periodic power shortages as it relies on hydro-power dams in a drought-prone region. Last year President John Magufulisaid the country needed to invest $46.2-billion over the next 20 years to revamp its ageing energyinfrastructure and meet soaring electricity demand.