Tanzania to connect one million homes to power

Tanzania to connect one million homes to power

Aug 12, 2016: Tanzania plans to spend $3.21 billion over the next five years to connect about one million rural households to electricity, a senior government official has said.

East Africa's second-biggest economy wants to use some of its natural gas reserves to end power shortages and boost industrial growth.

"The five-year rural electrification project whose implementation starts in this 2016/17 government financial year is expected to benefit up to five million people," GissimaNyamo-Hanga, acting director general of the state-run Rural Energy Agency, told Reuters.

"Most of the seven trillion shilling funding will come from the government's own sources, but we also expect to get financial assistance from our development partners to implement the project."

Nyamo-Hanga said the government has already allocated 534.4 billion Tanzanian shillings for the rural projects in fiscal year 2016/17.

An estimated 40 per cent of Tanzania's population of around 47 million currently has access to electricity, according to official figures.

The government wants to lift the proportion of the population with access to electricity to 85 per cent by 2025.

Tanzania aims to boost power generation capacity to 10,000 megawatts over the next decade from around 1,500MW at present by using natural gas and coal and reducing its dependence on hydro power sources.

Tanzania announced in February it had discovered an additional 2.17 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of possible natural gas deposits in an onshore field, raising its total estimated recoverable natural gas reserves to more than 57 tcf.

Investors have long complained that a lack of reliable power was one of the obstacles of doing business in the country.

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