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World Bank approves financing for Tanzania's Zanzibar energy transformation

DAR ES SALAAM, June 4 (Xinhua) -- 
The World Bank has approved 142 million U.S. dollars of financing for Tanzania's Zanzibar Energy Sector Transformation and Access project (ZESTA), a statement said Friday. 

 The statement issued by the World Bank office in Dar es Salaam said the project was intended to benefit nearly 400,000 Zanzibaris by having access to new or improved electricity services. 

 According to the statement, Zanzibar will also experience a reduction in annual unplanned system outages and associated losses after completion of the project. 

 "With a median age of 17 years and only 57 percent of citizens accessing electricity currently, investments in energy are urgently needed to contribute to improved human capital, remove constraints to more and better jobs, and enhance productivity," said Mara Warwick, the World Bank country director for Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 ZESTA, the first engagement by the World Bank in the Zanzibar energy sector, is to be implemented by the Ministry of Water, Energy and Minerals, the Zanzibar Electricity Corporation and the Zanzibar Utilities Regulatory Authority.

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