M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania: Huge Business Opportunities Await SMEs in Gas, Oil Sector

Posted on : Saturday, 5th December 2015

Aberdeen City Council Director, Gordon McIntosh, sharing the Scottish City experience in the industry, said the government ought to help the small businesses to identify the available opportunities as well as issue financial support in the form of grants and loans.

He said Mtwara was a potential East and Central Africa’s gas and oil hub, challenging the government however to work closely with the private sector to realise the dream. “Central to development is the planning process,” said Mr McIntosh, describing as critical the structural planning for houses, industrial land and other essential infrastructure for development.

Mr McIntosh, who boasts of 36 years of work to develop the energy sector in the Aberdeen region, said the Scottish city, by the time of discovery of gas and oil, had few local active businesses, with everything brought to the North Eastern Scotland by the oil companies.

“But, the council and chamber of commerce wanted to increase the local content… and we wanted to get as many as possible small enterprises in the oil sector,” he shared the Scottish experience, which he said fits well with the Tanzanian environment.

He however, warned against excessive public expectations on the oil and gas industry, saying the sector though influential in development was not the panacea to all the problems. “Even in Aberdeen, there are still unemployment and poverty problems.”

The oil sector also comes with some social problems including prostitution, Mr McIntosh said at a presentation he gave at the British High Commissioner’s residence in Dar es Salaam. Ms Dianna Melrose, the British High Commissioner to Tanzania, said there are many ways that the oil and gas industry can help the local SMEs to grow.

She cited an example where she visited Mtwara recently and found the gas company contemplating to import the fencing fire from South Africa. The High Commissioner intervened and local manufacturer was assisted to produce to the required specifications.

“This is handsome deal that is going to transform the local company,” said Ms Melrose, noting that the UK was firmly committed to support Tanzania to exploit the gas and oil resources for the benefits of all Tanzanians.

Source : ICES
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