THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $29.8 million loan to Tanzania to help the country mobilise domestic resources and unlock the potential of its natural gas resources through leveraging domestic markets and local content initiatives.
The approval follows a workshop held in Dar Es Salaam on March 20, co-organised by the government through the National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC) and the African Natural Resources Center of the AfDB on the theme ‘Unlocking the potential of gas resources In Tanzania, leveraging domestic markets and local content requirements.’
The approved project will help Tanzania capture the best value from their natural gas resources through a sound regulatory framework to manage natural gas reserves and to attract investment, as well as support for government negotiations teams to ensure the country gets the best deals and local content policies formulation to create jobs in the gas sector. The project will also contribute to designing strategies for domestication of natural gas, so that the gas resources can be utilized nationally and regionally to develop the energy and industry sectors.
While the large gas offshore discoveries can be a game changer for the country, doubling GDP, developing access to energy at national and regional levels and facilitating industrial development, it also represents significant challenges.
‘The AfDB is stepping up its support to the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania to develop the gas sector that is potentially transformative for the country,” AfDB’s country manager for Tanzania (OIC), Chidozie Emenuga, said.
The one-day workshop in Dar es Salaam focused on local content and gas utilisation at national and regional levels and was well attended with representatives from public and private sector, both national and international. The executive secretary of the NEEC, Beng’I Issa, told the workshop, that the Council ‘looks forward to a fruitful collaboration between public and private sector to achieve the intended goal of empowering Tanzanians.’
Local content is a key priority for the country to ensure that local private sector can benefit from these large foreign investments estimated at about $40bn to develop the LNG production and export facilities.
Gas Domestication is another key priority of the Government when developing the gas sector. Accessing gas resources at the regional level can springboard access to energy, develop regional infrastructures and private sector development.