Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has signed loan agreements totalling up to ¥8.857bn with the government of Tanzania for the Fourth Poverty Reduction Support Credit and the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River Road Development Project.

Tanzania has been plagued by debt problems for many years, and the international donor community has provided debt relief several times under the Enhanced HIPC Initiative and other measures under an internationally agreed framework.

However, after years of the Tanzanian government’s efforts in structural reforms, macroeconomic management, development process, as well as the external debt relief, the country has finally emerged from this prolonged economic quagmire.

In addition, driven by the emergence of new industries such as tourism and mining, Tanzania has maintained an annual economic growth rate of 5.8% on average since 2001.

As a member of the East African Community (EAC), the country has been striving to strengthen regional cooperative ties with Kenya and Uganda in a broad range of areas, including the political and economic spheres. Tanzania has a good reputation of being one of the most politically stable countries in Africa since, for example, there has not been a single coup d’etat attempt after the country gained independence in 1964.

In consideration of the Tanzanian government’s efforts towards reforms and sound economic management and with the main objective to further boost its efforts towards sustainable growth and poverty reduction, JBIC has decided to provide the first ODA loan for 25 years to Tanzania.

Also since the year 2007 represents the target year for international commitment to double Japanese ODA for Africa, which the government of Japan announced in July 2005 at the Gleneagles Summit, JBIC intends to contribute to accomplishing this target through scaling up ODA loans to Africa.