A $272.12m loan has been approved from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to Tanzania for the construction of the new Msalato International Airport in the capital Dodoma. The new airport will be built in the district of Msalato, 12km from the capital.

The funding package, approved on Wednesday, 18 December, comprises a $198.6m loan from the bank, $23.52m from the African Development Fund (ADF) and $50m in co-financing with the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) — a co-financing facility of China managed by the bank.

The project involves the construction of high-capacity airport infrastructure to meet the expected growth in air transport from the city’s new role as the administrative capital of Tanzania. Work will be carried out over four years and will include a passenger terminal, a runway, and air navigation equipment. The project includes other related operational services such as a fuel distribution company, water supply systems, electrical power distribution substations and a fire-fighting service.

Supporting business travellers and tourists

The new facility is expected to handle at least 50,000 aircrafts and a million passengers per year, most of which will be international. It will benefit and serve more than 200 million passengers in East Africa, as well as international trade networks, and especially business travellers and tourists.

“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’s national development aspirations of fostering shared growth for all the regions,” said Amadou Oumarou, the director of AfDB’s Infrastructure and Urban Development department.