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Sub-Saharan Africa

Green Growth in Tanzania through South-South Investment

In 2010, IFC made a groundbreaking investment – its first project with a Chinese sponsor in Africa, CRJE Estate Ltd.  IFC’s $22 million loan to the Chinese real estate company would be used towards building Tanzania’s first energy efficient commercial complex.

In June 2014, the project literally broke ground during Chinese Vice President Mr. Li Yuanchao’s first visit to Tanzania. Mr. Li and IFC Country Manager, Dan Kasirye dug in the foundation stone for, what is now called, Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation (MNF) Square. The complex will include 250 hotel rooms and 8,200 square meters of office and retail space.  

MNF Square is adopting IFC’s green-building standards, which can help reduce the building’s energy consumption by 20 percent. Globally, buildings account for a quarter of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions worldwide.  Investments in green buildings help fight climate change, especially in Africa, where commercial real estate is booming.

The project comes at an apt moment for Tanzania.  The country’s economy has been expanding steadily, with growth touching 7 percent last year. As more foreign and local companies in Tanzania grow; MNF Square will meet the demand for hotel, office and retail space.  The complex will also create linkages with local suppliers and producers, and offers an urban foothold for smaller businesses.  

CRJE Estate is a wholly owned subsidiary of China Railway Jianchang Engineering Co, one of the largest construction companies in Africa.  The land for the site is owned by the MNF foundation, named after late Tanzanian President and visionary, Julius Nyerere.  

Mr. Dai Hegen, President of the China Railway Group said; "China Railway will make MNF square a first-class project in management, quality, efficiency, technology and experience. We will continue to support CRJE, our local company, to further expand their business in Tanzania."

“Supporting South-South businesses in Africa is one of IFC’s strategic priorities,” said Oumar Seydi, IFC Director of Eastern and Southern Africa.  “MNF square demonstrates how Chinese developers and investors can be a vital force for Africa by building infrastructure, boosting trade, and creating jobs,”

Overall, IFC's China to Africa business grew 17 times from $28 million before 2004 to around $500 million in the last four years. IFC has also supported around $400 million in trade between China and Africa through its Global Trade Finance Program since 2006. 

For more information contact Neha Sud, Yu Jing,

First published: 07/15/2014

Updated: 07/28/2014

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