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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Tanzanian mega Rufiji Hydro Power project will
eventually produce 2,115 megawatts electricity

by Lucas Liganga DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The official construction of Tanzania’s mega Rufiji hydropower project, which is expected to produce 2,115 megawatts (MW) and promote the country’s socioeconomic growth, will be launched by Tanzanian President John Magufuli this coming Friday, a senior official has said.

Hassan Abbasi, director of the Tanzania Information Services Department and chief government spokesperson, told Xinhua in an interview Monday that the decision marks a major step of the government to fulfill its commitment of bolstering the energy sector for broader national industrialization as promised during the presidential campaign in 2015.

Abbasi said the launch of the 3-billion-U.S.-dollar hydropower project will take place at the Rufiji hydropower project site in Rufiji, formerly known as Stiegler’s Gorge Dam.

The project, located southeast of the country’s largest Selous Game Reserve, which covers an area of 50,000 square km and borders the Coast and Morogoro regions, will be the implementation of a 1980 plan that could not be put into effect because of resource constraints, the official said.

Despite the provision of adequate power supply to the country by adding 2,115 MW to the national grid, Abbasi said larger reservoirs to be constructed will contribute to multiple areas, including flood control, water supply, irrigation, fisheries and recreation.

"The project is expected to unleash a myriad of untold benefits to hardworking Tanzanians," said Abbasi, adding that an estimated 12,000 people will be directly employed during the three years of the project’s implementation.

The official said the project will also boost the tourism industry through sports fishing, boat rides and photographic safaris.

Another benefit of the project will be changing people’s lives through various socioeconomic activities in such areas as agriculture, aquaculture and fishing, said Abbasi.

The dam, once completed, will also create a permanent reservoir with a total storage capacity of 34,000 million cubic meters, said the official, adding that the reservoir would be a potential permanent reliable source of water.

In April, the Tanzanian government made an advance payment of about 309 million dollars to an Egyptian company for the construction of the hydroelectric project.

Doto James, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Finance, handed over a check for the amount to representatives of Egypt’s state-owned Arab Contractors.

The payment was part of an estimated cost of 3 billion dollars to be wholly funded by the Tanzanian government, said James.

In the same month, Tanzania’s CRDB Bank Plc and the United Bank for Africa signed a 737.5-million-dollar bank guarantee with the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO) for the implementation of the mega hydropower project.

In May 2018, the Tanzanian government’s budget proposal contained an allocation of 307 million dollars for the construction of the project.

The government of Tanzania signed a 3-billion-dollar landmark deal with Arab Contractors on Dec. 12, 2018.

Shortly after the agreement was signed, Magufuli reiterated his dismissal of environmental concerns, saying the project will be eco-friendly.

He said only a tiny fraction of the Selous Game Reserve, a world heritage site, would be used to build the proposed hydropower dam.

The project has attracted intense scrutiny with conservationists both at home and abroad calling for a comprehensive strategic environmental assessment before it is implemented.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Tanzania to launch mega 2,115 MW hydropower project

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania(Xinhua) -- Tanzania will see a major takeoff of its economy with the official construction of its mega Rufiji hydropower project kicking off this coming Friday, a senior official said Monday.

The historic three-billion-U.S.-dollar hydropower project will be launched by President John Magufuli on July 26, said Hassan Abbasi, director of the Tanzania Information Services Department and chief government spokesperson.

The project, once completed, is expected to produce 2,115 megawatts of electricity and spur the socioeconomic growth of the east African country.

The decision marks a major step of the government to fulfill its commitment of bolstering the energy sector for broader national industrialization as promised during the presidential campaign in 2015.

The project, located southeast of the country’s largest game reserve, the Selous, covering 50,000 square km and bordering the Coast and Morogoro regions, is a goal of the current government to deliver on a 1980 plan that could not take off until after 39 years owing to resource constraints, the official said.

Apart from securing power supply to the country by adding 2,115 MW to the state grid, Abbasi said larger reservoirs to be constructed will serve multiple purposes, including flood control, water supply, irrigation, fisheries and recreation.

"The project is expected to unleash a myriad of untold benefits to hardworking Tanzanians," said Abbasi, adding that an estimated 12,000 people will be directly employed during the three years of the project’s implementation.

The project will also boost tourism through sport fishing, boat rides and photographic safaris, the official said.

It will also benefit people within and outside the project area through various socioeconomic activities such as agriculture and aquaculture, among others, the official added.
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Tanzania Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa inaugurates
newly renovated railway to spur economic growth

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Saturday inaugurated a 353-km renovated railway line from the Indian Ocean coastal city of Tanga to the east African nation’s northern region of Kilimanjaro.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said Majaliwa inaugurated the railway line by receiving a cargo train ferrying 800 tonnes of cement from Tanga to Moshi municipal town, the headquarters of Kilimanjaro region.

He said renovation of the railway line was part of the government’s resolve to build up the infrastructure and stimulate economic development in the country.

"Railway transportation is cheaper, faster and can move cargo in bulk," he said, adding the renovation was done using locally sourced funding and was implemented by employees of the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC).

Masanja Kadogosa, the TRC director general, said the renovation of the railway line from Korogwe in Tanga region to Arusha was estimated to cost 6 million U.S. dollars but only 2.5 million U.S. dollars has been spent until now.

Kadogosa said the renovation was undertaken by 525 TRC employees, including engineers and technicians.

The official said the railway line had been dormant for the past 12 years after it was worn following lack of maintenance.
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Tanzanian government commends Huawei for launching first ICT job fair

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- The government of Tanzania on Wednesday commended Huawei, a Chinese tech and smartphone giant, for launching the first information and communication technology (ICT) job fair for university students in the east African nation.

"The 2019 ICT job fair has got a very significant contribution to the future of youth employment in the country," said Anthony Mavunde, the Deputy Minister for Labor, Youth, Employment and the Disabled.

The Huawei ICT job fair is aimed at giving employers a platform to meet and interview university students that have been trained by Huawei programs and offering them internships and possibly a job at the end of their term.

The fair, organized by Huawei and six of its key partners in Tanzania, attracted university students from both Tanzania’s mainland and Zanzibar to the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The fair has come at the right time when Tanzania was developing into a more digital based nation, Mavunde said.

He urged universities and other institutions to take this opportunity and seriously enroll students who have a passion for IT related curriculums.

"ICT is key to any country’s economic development," he said, adding that the government under the leadership of President John Magufuli is currently striving to build its industrial base.

Yuan Lin, economic and commercial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania, said since entering the ICT market in Tanzania in 2001, Huawei Tanzania has succeeded in becoming the main partner of the Tanzanian government in the ICT field.

Yuan said the Chinese embassy in Tanzania has been encouraging and supporting Chinese firms operating in the country to play an active role in fulfilling corporate social responsibilities and realizing common development with the local society.

"For years, Huawei Tanzania has fully utilized its ICT technological capabilities in carrying out its corporate social responsibilities and made positive contributions to helping Tanzania train professional ICT personnel," he said.

Yuan added: "This event not only sets a good example for other Chinese companies in Tanzania but also makes new contributions to the training of ICT talents and the development of Tanzania’s ICT industry."

Wang Zhigang, Deputy General Manager of Huawei Tanzania, said the investment Huawei was making in Tanzania was aimed at increasing the number of ICT talents and further providing jobs for them in the ICT Industry.

Wang encouraged the students who have already participated in these programs to be ambassadors for Huawei so that they can encourage more students to participate in the coming programs.
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Visiting Editor-in-Chief of Xinhua News Agency He Ping signs MOU with
Tanzanian information services department on media co-operation

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Visiting Editor-in-Chief of Xinhua News Agency He Ping and Tanzania’s Minister of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyembe witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Xinhua and Tanzania’s Information Services Department after the two held talks here on Sunday.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, He said that Xinhua attaches great importance to the cooperation with Tanzanian media, adding that Xinhua looks forward to deepening China-Tanzania friendship by working together with Tanzanian media and elevating cooperation levels.

On his part, Mwakyembe said that China has always been Tanzania’s true friend and good friend.

The official said that the two countries have made multiple achievements by advancing Belt and Road cooperation, adding that Tanzania hopes to continue enhancing cooperation with China in the media sector.

He visited Tanzania at the invitation of the Ministry of Information, Culture, Arts and Sports.

During his visit, He also toured Tanzania’s Daily News newspaper and signed another MOU with the Zanzibar Department of Information Services.

Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania Wang Ke and Chinese Consul General in Tanzania’s Zanzibar Xie Xiaowu attended the signing ceremony of the MOUs respectively.
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Tanzanian parliament speaker Job Yustino Ndugai to visit China

BEIJING China (Xinhua) -- Job Yustino Ndugai, speaker of the Tanzanian National Assembly, will lead a delegation to China from July 21 to 28 at the invitation of Li Zhanshu, chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.

           

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