Tanzania to receive US$50.7m COVID-19 crisis budget
The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a loan of UA36-million (US$50.7-million) to Tanzania, to finance the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The loan, from the African Development Bank Group’s COVID-19 Response Facility (CRF), will support the Government of Tanzania’s US$109-million national COVID-19 response plan, which is jointly supported by the country’s other development partners.
The plan is aimed at building economic resilience, while mitigating the socio-economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly on local businesses, vulnerable households and the country’s health system.
The pandemic has put increased pressure on Tanzania’s health facilities, social protection systems and has dampened the country’s projected growth of over 6.2% – the average over the last five years, and which had made it the one of the best performers in Eastern Africa.
Growth is now projected to decline from the pre-COVID projections of 6.4% to between 3.6% and 2.6%.
Commenting on the operation, Nnenna Nwabufo, the Acting Director-General of the Bank’s East Africa regional office, said it was part of a larger, more comprehensive support package for the Bank’s regional member countries, including Tanzania.
“The evolution of COVID-19 and changing containment measures remain dynamic and unpredictable; the medium and longer-term impacts of the crisis are yet to be fully understood. The African Development Bank Group is stepping up its coordination with governments, as well as with other development partners to adapt and strengthen its monitoring and response to the pandemic,” Nwabufo said.
East Africa trade
In June 2020 the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said that Tanzania is well-positioned to integrate into a global digital economy, but the lack of a national e-commerce strategy remains an obstacle.
UNCTAD highlighted the country’s potential to become a leading contender in online trade in East Africa – especially within mobile finance and digital payments. However, the assessment found that the country has neither mainstreamed e-commerce into its national and sectoral development plans or into inter-ministerial or public-private sector dialogue, further throttling progress.
The UN organisation also found that Tanzania lacks specific e-commerce legislation and that its legal framework is inadequate to create conducive e-commerce business environment, limiting trust among users of digital technologies.