TANZANIA – STANBIC Bank, a financial services organization, has set aside US$76m (TSh177bn) for various infrastructure projects in the country in this year, reports The Citizen.

Stanbic Chief Executive, Mr Ken Cockerill said they want to play an important role in supporting the country’s development plan, “Infrastructure development is the cornerstone for sustainable long-term economic growth and competitiveness,”

The bank, in the list of top ten lenders, said providing finance and financial expertise to the private and public sector in the country was a key focus for them.

The bank said yesterday that they are proud to be at the forefront of bridging the infrastructure funding gap to accelerate socioeconomic transformation in Tanzania.

Unlocking private sector funding will create solutions to bridge Tanzania’s and the continent’s infrastructure deficit and challenging business environment by developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets with a view to enhancing productivity and generating economic growth across Africa.

In this year, the government has dedicated over US$5.2bn (TSh12.2 tri) towards key development projects that include Africa’s longest Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline and Julius Nyerere International Airport Terminal III.

Stanbic’s Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr Manzi Rwegasira said the country is in its way to bridging the infrastructure gap which is critical to become a middle-income country by 2025.

“It is through collaboration between the private and public sector, spearheaded by corporates such as Stanbic that will drive inclusive development in our economy,” Mr Rwegasira said.

Tanzania’s population is also growing at a rate of 1.6 million people per year and this is projected to reach 67 million people by 2025 and 77 million by 2030, hence the importance for modern infrastructure for an upcoming middle-income country.

Stanbic has raised over 300 billion in financing for Tanzanian companies and institutions across the agricultural, consumer, industrial, natural resources and government sectors since last year.

Stanbic Bank Tanzania Limited is a full service commercial bank which specialises in providing facilities and services to public and private sector corporations, diplomatic missions and international organisations.

It is a member of the Standard Bank Group of South Africa and was established in May 1995 when the Standard Bank Group acquired the operations of Meridien Biao Bank Tanzania Limited.