Tanzania and the US have forged a new partnership that is set to boost the East African country’s investment in power generation and promote its commodity-based industrialisation.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for an Energy Regulatory Partnership signed between the two countries, the Government of Tanzania will be assisted to adopt and implement policy and regulatory reforms needed to attract private investment in the energy sector, according to an official statement made available to PANA here Thursday.
“This Partnership is implemented by the US National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) with support from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and marks one of the first in a series of activities to be conducted in Tanzania under the Power Africa initiative,” said the statement from the US Embassy in Dar es Salaam.
Power Africa, announced by US President Barack Obama during his recent trip to Africa, is a new initiative that aims to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa, and Tanzania is one of the initial set of six partner countries.
Under Power Africa, the US Government will provide various tools of technical assistance, private capital mobilisation and facilitation efforts, as well as capacity building to advance private sector energy transactions.
As one of the activities under Power Africa, the USAID in Tanzania is supporting a regulatory partnership programme.
According to an official of the agency, this programme is a vehicle for the exchange of experience and information between the US and Tanzanian regulatory bodies, with the goal of improving practices in electricity and natural gas sectors, and fostering long-term sustainable relationships between regulatory agencies in both countries.
“While it’s one of many milestones in our ongoing relationship with the Government of Tanzania, working together to attack energy problems, this event formally marks the start of the Power Africa initiative in Tanzania,” noted US Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt at the MoU signing ceremony.
Tanzania’s Director General of the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA), Mr. Haruna Masebu, and Mr. John T. Colgan, Commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC), signed the partnership deal.
Emphasising its significance as a progressive stride to improve the lives of Tanzanians, Masebu said: “This partnership is timely, relevant and well received.”
Meanwhile, officials from the state-run Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), the Rural Electrification Agency, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals along with EWURA and NARUC are attending a week-long workshop to prepare elements in a regulatory framework for natural gas and renewable energy projects in Tanzania.