Why Tanzania must act quickly on its gas wealth

Wednesday August 03 2022
NG pic
By Gadiosa Lamtey

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania must quickly change its policies governing natural gas if it is to benefit from the rising prices of the product due to the Russia-Ukraine war, experts have said.

The country -- which has already discovered about 57.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas -- must also expedite exploration activities to get more and more of the product to get a pie of the global trade, researchers said at a recent meeting.

The former Commissioner for Minerals, Dr Dalali Kafumu, said at the meeting that Tanzania must work at a terrific speed because the current rise in prices is only precipitated by the war and that going forward, the developed world would be directing its focus on transition into the clean energy.

This, he said, was because the world has a target of meeting the zero-emission goal by 2050.

Organised by Policy Research for Development (Repoa), the five-day meeting – which started on Monday – involves policymakers from civil society organisations engaged in the mining, gas and oil sector.

“Many European countries are currently looking for gas from Africa because they were largely reliant on Russia.

Advertisement

“If we don’t utilize this opportunity now, by 2050 it will no longer work. Players must rekindle their search for the product now and some policies must be worked on,” he said.

Generally, he said, there was a positive direction for Tanzania because the negotiations for Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) have started showing some positive outcomes.

Repoa executive director Donald Mmari pointed out that Tanzania was blessed with abundant natural resources, noting, however, that for a long time the country has not utilized its God-given wealth to improve lives of its people.

“Every year we give training to stakeholders related to this sector because there are many things that should be understood well. The aim is to give them the relationship between this sector with the economy and the development of the country and the participation of the people,” Dr Mmari told the gathering.

The training is looking at areas such as the relationship between investors and the citizens; citizens’ participation as well as the issue of systems, laws and transparency.