Four Chinese firms have won contracts to build roads worth $313 million in Tanzania, marking a watershed in the award of government jobs under President John Magufuli.
The 432km of road improvements, which are expected to be completed in 36 months and supervised by Tanzania National Road Agency (Tanroads) will run from Tabora to Koga and between Mbinga and Mbamba Bay.
China Geo Engineering Corporation will do the 108km from Usesula to Komaga at a cost of $70.21 million; China Wu Yi will build 106 kilometres from Komanga to Kasinde, while the 67 kilometre road from Mbinga to Mbamba Bay will done by China Henan International Co-operation Group at a cost of $57.32 million. China Railway Seventh Group will do the Kasinde to Mpanda road for $59.14 million.
The four firms were chosen out of 129 firms that bid.
Tanzania minister of works, transport and communications, Prof Makame Mbarawa said the works would be strictly supervised to comply with specifications.
“We will not hesitate to terminate any contract of a contractor who will not finish the project on time and according to specifications. It will be their first and last time for them to work in this country. We are routing for quality and value for money,” said Prof Mbarawa.
Last week, China Wu Yi Co, in filings to the Shanghai Stock Exchange said that it had won part of the road contract totalling 112.18 kilometres at a cost of $$62.72 million, which will guarantee it a profit of $3.34 million.
“However, this will not have any major impact on our financial in 2017,” the firm said in the filing.
Tanzania is expected to fund part of the project, with the help of a loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“We will continue supporting the transport sector to improve Tanzania’s economy. Through this project, we will be improve roads in Tabora region which will help expand the economy of residents because 90 per cent of the Tabora residents are farmers,” said AfDB country representative Marie Hellen Minja.
This is a big win for Chinese firms which had appeared sidelined by the Magufuli administration.