Tanzanian capital to get first international airport with $272m loan from AfDB

Now that the Tanzanian government has finally moved in to its capital city of Dodoma, it will build an international airport there thanks to a $272m loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Located in the centre of the East African country, Dodoma has been the official capital since 1973, but ministries resisted relocating from the busy port metropolis of Dar es Salaam until recently.

Only in October last year did President John Magufuli officially move his office to the city of about 410,000 people.

With its runway of just over 2km in length, Dodoma’s existing airport cannot handle large aircraft needed for international flights. 

The new airport will be built in the district of Msalato, 12km from the capital.

It is expected to handle at least 50,000 aircrafts and a million passengers a year, most of them international, the AfDB said on 19 December. 

Work will be carried out over four years and will include a passenger terminal, runway and related infrastructure.

The funding package comprises a $198.6m loan from the AfDB, $23.52m from the African Development Fund, and $50m in co-financing from China’s Africa Growing Together Fund, which the AfDB manages.

Amadou Oumarou, the AfDB’s infrastructure and urban development department director, said: "An expanded air transport network in Dodoma, together with the ongoing high-speed railway construction on the central corridor, are necessary infrastructure investments to help unlock and disperse spatial development in the countryside.

"This will strengthen the city’s potential as a strategic growth pole in keeping with Tanzania’ national development aspirations of fostering shared growth for all the regions."

Image: ©GCR, illustration by Denis Carrier

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