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World Bank gives Tanzania 65mln USD Loan to Improve Justice Services

The World Bank has approved a 65 million US dollars loan to Tanzania to improve the efficiency and transparency of justice services, a statement of the bank said on Thursday.

A group photo of Judges in Tanzania.

The statement said the new project directly responded to the east African nation’s Development Vision 2025 as well as the country’s Judiciary Strategic Plan for 2015-2020.

"The government (of Tanzania) seeks to improve peoples’ lives by enhancing the business and investment environment, increasing transparency and reducing poverty," said the statement.

Tanzania has maintained a remarkable growth rate averaging seven percent over the past decade.

However, between 2007 and 2012, basic needs poverty only declined from 34.4 percent to 28.2 percent, and extreme poverty declined from 11.7 percent to 9.7 percent.

The statement said economic disparities within the population have grown due to fewer employment opportunities, limited access to services, and unsatisfactory service delivery outcomes particularly in rural areas.

"There are too many Tanzanians for whom access to justice services is a luxury but it shouldn’t be, it is core to social sustainability and peoples’ wellbeing," said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia and Malawi.

Bird added: "And with the economy growing as fast as it is the country’s justice system which is part and parcel of the enabling environment for business and investment needs to support increased demand."

The Bank’s support to the judiciary and justice entities, along with other development partners, will help enhance their institutional capacity to demonstrate transformational results, said the statement.

It said citizens, including vulnerable groups such as women, rural poor, informal traders, small businesses, large commercial enterprises and banks, will all benefit from the project.

Currently, approximately 47 percent of the population does not live close to a high court, said the statement adding that the design and construction of one-stop justice centers in select locations will help close the huge rural-urban gap in justice service provision, and will reduce travel and transaction costs for users.

"Judiciary-led reforms are underway and the project will address factors that are impeding the delivery of effective justice services to citizens," said Waleed Haider Malik, the World Bank’s Senior Public Sector Specialist and task team leader for the project. Enditem

By Robert Muriisa.

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