Turkana boys walk past a road construction project near Isiolo town, about 320 km (200 miles) north of Kenyan capital Nairobi, July 7, 2008. REUTERS

Tanzania needs to invest $10 billion a year to improve its infrastructure network and create a healthy climate for the county's economic growth, a continental investment body said on Tuesday.

Omari Issa, head of the Investment Climate Facility for Africa -- a private body working to improve the business climate -- told an investment conference that infrastructure woes were a key barrier to doing business in the country.

Tanzania needs to raise easily $10 billion annually for the next several years for infrastructure development, he told the conference organised by the Economist magazine.

He said day-to-day business across the continent was often thwarted by practical struggles with transport, logistics, energy and technology.

Infrastructure is one of the top challenges facing many nations on the world's poorest continent, given the massive investment required for road-building, development of ports and bridges, railway construction and energy generation projects.

Issa said the private sector had a key role to play in developing infrastructure projects under public-private partnership in Tanzania and elsewhere in Africa where governments are cash-strapped.

Issa said excessive and ineffective bureaucracy were stifling and inhibiting private investment in Tanzania.

Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda said the country would continue to undertake various reforms to improve the investment climate.

We have a crisis of power supply. We have to look at a permanent solution rather than short-term measures. By June, July to December, the power supply situation in the country will improve, Pinda said.

Government introduced scheduled power blackouts since December after drought at hydropower stations and shortage of gas at thermal turbines cut supply to the national power grid.

Benno Ndulu, the central bank governor, told the conference that access to long-term financing for major investment projects was a key challenge for the economy, which is ranked the second largest in east Africa.

One of the things that I am worried about is how to tap into non-concessional financing at reasonable costs in a manner that will also leverage the private sector, he said.

Deputy finance minister, Pereira Silima, said infrastructure development was of the government's key priorities.

It's a priority to make roads good for transportation of farm goods to the market. Airports and sea ports also need to be developed to service landlocked neighbouring countries, he said.