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World Bank helps Tanzania brace for urbanization

The skyline of Arusha is still mostly trees and mountains. But like other secondary cities in Tanzania, it's growing rapidly. (Roman Boed/flickr/cc)

Tanzania is known for its soaring mountains, lush landscapes and nature reserve parks. Yet even in this verdant oasis, there are signs of rapid urbanization.

According to the World Bank, the main funder of the Tanzania Strategic Cities Project, 27 percent of Tanzania’s population lived in cities two years ago. That figure, up from 5.7 percent in 1967, is expected to surpass 50 percent by 2030.

Launched in 2012, the project finances urban infrastructure improvements designed to make cities in this African nation more inclusive, efficient and modern. The World Bank has contributed $213 million to the project, with an additional $6 million from the Danish government.

The results of those investments can be seen in Arusha, a city in northern Tanzania. Roads are being paved, a storm drainage system was added and commercial and residential properties were mapped to aid with tax collection. In Mtwara, a city of 108,000, the project is developing an environmentally friendly landfill to replace dumpsites. Newly discovered gas reserves there are creating jobs that are attracting an influx of migrants.

Other Tanzanian cities receiving infrastructure assistance are Tanga, Mwanza, Kigoma, Mbeya and Dodoma. 

World Bank

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