March 20, 2017 / 2:34 PM / 5 months ago

World Bank to lend Tanzania $2.4 bln over 3 years for infrastructure projects

DAR AS SALAAM, March 20 (Reuters) - The World Bank will lend Tanzania $2.4 billion over the next three years to finance infrastructure projects, the bank's president Jim Yong Kim said on Monday.

Tanzania is seeking financing for infrastructure projects as part of its plans to transforming the country into a regional transport and trade hub.

"Tanzania will be able to access an estimated $2.4 billion in concessional financing, an increase of half a billion dollars over the past three-year period," Kim said during a visit to Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Kim and Tanzania's President John Magufuli also attended the signing of documents on three World Bank-funded projects worth $780 million aimed at improving public infrastructure.

East Africa's second-biggest economy wants to profit from its long coastline and upgrade its rickety railways and roads to serve the growing economies in the land-locked heart of Africa.

Big gas finds in Tanzania and oil discoveries in Kenya and Uganda have turned east Africa into an exploration hotspot for oil firms, but transport infrastructure in those countries has suffered from decades of under-investment. (Reporting by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala; Editing by Aaron Maasho and Hugh Lawson)

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