Tanzania’s public debt rose by 15 per cent during the 2016/17 financial year even as the government grapples with own sources of development financing amid growing unpredictability of funds disbursements from development partners.
Latest figures show that the debt had risen to about $24.514 billion during the financial year that ended on June 30, 2017.
Among the mega projects which President John Magufuli’s administration is currently executing are the standard gauge railway that will connect Tanzania to the landlocked neighbouring countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.
Construction of the first phase of the railway project – a 205-kilometre stretch from Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast to Morogoro – is already ongoing, whereby part of the funding was sourced as a loan from the Turkish state-owned Export Credit Bank of Turkey (Exim Bank).
In a related development, the government announced earlier this month that a Turkish firm, Yapi Merkezi – which is building the first phase Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stretch – has also won the tender to construct the second phase connecting Morogoro to Makutupora in Dodoma region. The contract is worth $1.92 billion.