From 23 to 26th May, 2022, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, paid a Working Visit to Ghana where she attended the 57th African Development Bank and 48th African Development Fund Annual General Meetings in Accra, which took place on 24th May, 2022. Her Excellency President also participated in the Presidential Dialogue on Africa's Development Challenges and Opportunities, which was part of the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings.
On a panel with the presidents of the Republic of Ghana, Mozambique, and Comoros, Her Excellency President Samia said that loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) were the country's lifeline during the Covid-19 pandemic and helped to stabilize the economy, improve the quality of education, and expand the reach of clean water supply.
During her visit to Ghana on May 25, 2022, The President was awarded the Super Builder Award-Babacar N'Diaye Trophy for her personal commitment to the development and implementation of road, rail, and airport projects in Tanzania.
The award was presented to Her Excellency President Samia at the Africa Road Builders Final Conference on the sidelines of the African Development Bank Group’s Annual Meetings in Accra.
"I feel very honoured and humbled to receive this award as the first recipient in the presence of great African leaders," said Her Excellency President Samia, the only sitting female head of state on the continent and the first female president in East Africa.
"I am touched by this award, bearing in mind that it is not a personal trophy. If anyone deserves it, it is my predecessor, former President H. E. John Magufuli," President Samia said, paying tribute to the country’s late leader, who died during his second term in March 2021. H. E. late President Magufuli served as Minister of Transport and Works in several governments before becoming head of state. "He invested in infrastructure development as a minister and intensified investments once he became president," said the President who then was President Magufuli's vice-president.
The trophy was presented to Her Excellency President Samia by Mr. Solomon Quaynor, the African Development Bank Group's Vice President for Infrastructure, Industrialisation, and Private Sector.
"The African Development Bank is proud of what you are doing for Tanzania. The Bank supports and will continue to support Tanzania's infrastructure development as it is key to socio-economic development," Quaynor said.
In its rationale for awarding the prize, the selection committee noted that Her Excellency President Samia has been involved in the development of Tanzania's transport networks through the construction of roads, including the initiation of the historic Dodoma bypass to serve the regional markets of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Her Excellency President Samia is also investing in the construction of a standard gauge railway to link Tanzania's main port with several remote countries in the region: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. She is seeking funding for this integration project. "Ms. Hassan has supervised all the ongoing (infrastructure) projects and has initiated new ones, which she is following with careful attention," the committee said.
The African Development Bank, which sponsors the award, invested $2.1 billion in Tanzanian infrastructure between 1967 and 2022 to reduce inequality, create jobs, and bring security and better integration to the East African region.
During an official visit in February, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, joined Her Excellency President Samia to launch the construction of the landmark Dodoma City Outer Ring Road project. About 65% of the $214.69 million project is financed by the Bank, for approximately $137.3 million, and $41.8 million is being contributed by the Africa Growing Together Fund, funded by the People's Bank of China and hosted by the African Development Bank.
Mr. Barthélémy Kouamé, the commissioner of the Africa Builders prize, announced that its next conference will take place in Tanzania. Each year, the Africa Road Builders Final Conference is held on the sidelines of the Bank Group's Annual Meetings. The conference brings together representatives and stakeholders from the road and transport infrastructure sector to encourage the development of road networks, transport, and mobility in Africa. The winner is presented with a trophy at the event. The theme of this year's conference was "Building Roads: Building Economies".
The awards were created in honor of Babacar N'diaye, President of the African Development Bank from 1985 to 1995. Each year, the Africa Road Builders selection committee carefully evaluates ambitious projects that have a real impact on people’s mobility.
The Babacar N'diaye Africa Road Builders Award is sponsored by Acturoutes, an information platform on infrastructure and roads in Africa, and Media for Infrastructure and Finance in Africa (MIFA), a network of African journalists specialising in road infrastructure. The selection committee is composed of media representatives from the continent’s five regions, working from media reports and experts on issues related to road networks, transport, and sustainable development.
This is President Samia’s first official trip to West Africa since she was sworn in as president in March last year following the death of her predecessor the late H. E. President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli.