Zanzibar hosts IDA Midterm review meeting

ZANZIBAR: THE World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) Midterm Review meeting begins in Zanzibar today to take stock of implementation and delivery of its 20th financing round and set a stage for the next one.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan, Zanzibar President, Dr Hussein Mwinyi and World Bank Group President, Ajay Banga are expected to grace the opening of the meeting that has drawn together over 300 participants including IDA donors and borrower representatives in a three-day meeting to review the progress to-date on its policy, financial commitments and evaluate its response to overlapping crises.

The Principal Secretary in the President’s Office, (Finance and Planning), Juma Malik Akil told reporters here yesterday that the mid-term review meeting would discuss the implementation and delivery of the 20th IDA financing round (IDA20), which is the largest replenishment to date, raising 93 billion US dollars to support poor countries.

IDA20 concludes in 2025, and the midterm-review will also set the stage for the IDA21 replenishment, he said.

“World Bank top management is here in Zanzibar. the President, Vice-President and managing directors, who are key decision makers,” said Mr Akil, noting it would be a big meeting expected to come up with key decisions in the concessional financing of poor countries.

Zanzibar has eight projects under IDA20 which include fishing, education infrastructure development, judiciary, and health, he said noting that the semi-independent archipelago is expecting to get concessional financing for a number of projects in the forthcoming IDA21 financing round.

“Over 300 participants who have confirmed to attend will review the progress in implementation of the existing IDA financing round and come up with resolutions for the remainder of the period that will pave the way for the next financing round. They will also to visit various IDA financed projects,” said Mr Akil.

World Bank President Mr Banga arrived in Zanzibar yesterday and according to an earlier statement he was scheduled to have high-level discussions with President Samia and President Mwinyi and various government ministers and officials.

As part of his visit, the World Bank leader will visit Muungoni Village Seaweed Farms and Jang’ombe Hub Secondary School, both located in Zanzibar.

The purpose of these visits is to meet with project beneficiaries and witness firsthand the transformative impact of IDA support.

Muungoni Village received support from the South-West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project (SWIOFish), which has benefited over 15,000 seaweed farmers in the country, with 74 per cent of them being women.

The project provided resources for seaweed farming, transportation, and training, resulting in reduced costs, increased production, and improved access to markets. This, in turn, has led to higher incomes and enhanced community resilience against climate challenges.

Jang’ombe is one of 24 hub schools for enhanced Math, Science and English learning (MSE) supported under the Zanzibar Improving Student Prospects (ZISP) Project.

Through this project, the school, along with others, has been equipped with modern learning facilities, including an ICT lab, an English/Language lab, a library, a toilet block and a teacher preparation room.

Additionally, the school has received furniture and all the necessary equipment, as well as training for teaching staff.

The overall results of the ZISP project include the construction of 206 additional classrooms and learning facilities, all equipped with up-to-date teaching and learning materials.

As of November 2023, the IDA-financed portfolio in Tanzania amounts to 8.3 billion US dollars, consisting of 23 national projects totalling 7.26 billion US dollars in commitments and six regional projects totalling 1.05 billion US dollars in commitments.

Key sectors in the national portfolio include transport, education, water, urban resilience, energy, and social protection.

Other projects cover governance, digital development, human development, and poverty. Tanzania’s regional projects focus on agriculture, energy, education, and poverty and equity.

IDA is the global solidarity fund of the World Bank Group that supports low-income countries.

The association works to create a world free of poverty on a livable planet. Since 1960, IDA has provided 533 billion US dollars in funding to 115 countries, transforming the lives of hundreds of millions of people, including those in Tanzania.

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