Infrastructure upgrades to Zanzibar, Tanzania, will provide UK exporters with some £100M of opportunities, as UK Export Finance underwrites £373M of financing.
The historic road and airport upgrades across Zanzibar will be back by UKEF and UK suppliers are expected to win supply contracts equivalent to more than £100 million for these transformational projects.
Infrastructure upgrades set to boost Zanzibar’s island economy, include improvements to 103km of Zanzibar’s road network and to Pemba Airport.
UKEF worked with Citi to unlock €180M in loans for the airport upgrade and with Deutsche Bank to enable €242M in loans for the road improvements. These projects will be completed through strategic joint ventures, with Propav Infraestructuras leading and collaborating with Mecco Ltd.
The terms of UKEF’s backing mean that these major projects are expected to create over £100M in export opportunities for UK companies. This is a significant achievement in the context of UK exports to the whole of Tanzania, which totalled £275M in 2022.
Nigel Huddleston, Minister for International Trade, said: “Good local infrastructure is key to encouraging businesses to invest and work with local suppliers. This deal will support crucial development across Zanzibar, unlock new opportunities for UK companies in Africa, and grow sectors that will create jobs and boost the economy across our nations.”
David Concar, British High Commissioner to Tanzania, said: “I couldn’t be more proud of this partnership. Developing countries need access to affordable infrastructure financing from reliable partners – and that is exactly what this initiative will deliver.
“It underscores the UK government’s commitment to working in partnership with Tanzania to support inclusive, sustainable economic development, including on the islands of Zanzibar. Congratulations to UK Export Finance, Tanzania’s Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Government of Zanzibar and all other partners to the project for collaborating with such keen purpose to unlock this opportunity.”
Improvements at Pemba Airport will transform the domestic facility into a hub for international flights, which currently can only land on Unguja. By allowing overseas passengers to reach Pemba Island directly, the new project will unlock the economic potential of the second largest island in the Zanzibar archipelago.
The UK-enabled road upgrades across Unguja and Pemba – the archipelago’s two largest islands – will expand three major roads to four lanes each whilst fitting them with street lighting and additional paving. This is expected to reduce congestion whilst improving connectivity and safety.
The loans allow the delivery of infrastructure upgrades expected to involve significant UK export content sourced by contractors from the UK supply chain.
UKEF has a total ‘risk appetite’ of up to £2Bn with which it can support buyers in Tanzania interested in UK exports.
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