UK Underwrites US$460 Million For Infrastructure Projects In Zanzibar

The financing will support the modernisation of Pemba Airport and 103km of road works.

By Liz Bains on
7th July 2023

UK Export Finance has agreed to underwrite €422 million (US$460 million) of financing to support the upgrade of 103km of roads and the modernisation of Pemba Airport on the archipelago of Zanzibar, Tanzania.

UK firms are expected to win supply contracts worth more than €120 million on the projects.

UK Export Finance worked with Citi to unlock €180 million in loans for the airport upgrade and with Deutsche Bank to enable €242 million in loans for the road improvements. 

The projects will be executed by Propav Infraestructuras of Brazil working in joint venture with the local Mwananchi Engineering Contracting Company (Mecco).

The modernisation of Pemba Airport will transform the domestic facility into a hub for international flights. The project involves extending the runway from 1,500 metres to 2,510m and increasing the width to 45m. It also includes a new passenger building, control tower, aprons, perimeter fence, rescue and firefighting facilities, access roads, parking, water network, gravity sewage system and substations.

The new passenger terminal will have the capacity to process 260 people an hour. Pemba Airport handled 97,576 passengers in 2017. The forecast for 2027 is 146,300, and by 2042, 494,000.

Artist's impression of the modernised Pemba Airport
Artist's impression of the modernised Pemba Airport (Source: UK Export Finance)

The road upgrades on Unguja and Pemba, the archipelago’s two largest islands, will expand three major roads to four lanes each and fit them with street lighting and pavements in order to reduce congestion and improve safety.

The roads are the 48km Tunguu-Makadunchi Road and the 12km Fumba-Kisauni Road on Unguja and the 43.5km Mkoani-Chake Chake Road with Pemba Airport spur.

Dr Mwigulu Lameck Nchemba, Minister of Finance and Planning, Tanzania, said, “By securing this financing, we can embark on vital infrastructure development that will lay the foundation for a prosperous and sustainable future.”

David Concar, British High Commissioner to Tanzania, said, “Developing countries need access to affordable infrastructure financing from reliable partners – and that is exactly what this initiative will deliver.”

UK Export Finance said it has a total risk appetite of up to £2 billion (US$2.5 billion) with which it can support buyers in Tanzania interested in UK exports.

Top photo: Pemba Airport in 2018 (© Aleksandra Tokarz | Dreamstime)


Profile picture for user Anonymous
By: Frederick Mrema
Wed, 07/12/2023 - 00:46

Add a comment

ConstructAfrica welcomes lively debate, but will not publish comments that are threatening, libellous or abusive.

Plain text

  • You can align images (data-align="center"), but also videos, blockquotes, and so on.
  • You can caption images (data-caption="Text"), but also videos, blockquotes, and so on.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol type start> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id> <img src alt data-entity-type data-entity-uuid data-align data-caption>