Oil prices in Tanzania may be stable today, but there is cause for concern that they will rise in the next few months.
The anxiety has been triggered by the US’ decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran’s crude oil, This would result in unpleasant consequences for consumers.
Tanzania, which largely depends on refined oil from the Middle East, is not immune to the adverse economic impact of the latest sanctions. And, if the US does not lift the sanctions in the near future, the rise in oil prices would certainly increase inflation and slow down economic growth.
Besides, political tensions between the US and Saudi Arabia may further affect oil prices in the country.
The regulatory body Ewura has allayed fears over fuel shortages and prices. This notwithstanding, we should still fast-track efforts to diversify our energy sources.
To avoid over-dependence on oil imports, the government should vigorously promote heavy investments in other forms of alternative energy. With alternative energy sources available across Tanzania, worries of inflation and economic slowdown would be minimal.
It is, therefore, imperative that energy sources like wind, solar and natural gas replace fossil fuels, as this would create the basis for building a stable economy.