M a r k e t N e w s

Tanzania: Seminar for Regional Utilisation of Respective Gas Advantages

Posted on : Monday, 27th October 2014

 ALL regions across the country have been challenged to find out and concentrate on their respective competitive advantages in serving the potential gas industry.

 
Participants to a seminar on Tanzania as a future strong extractives state in Dar es Salaam, over the weekend, said that such a practice would help both individuals and institutions in private sectors to serve and reap from the anticipated gas economy.
 
At the seminar organised by Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA), stakeholders' views were collected ahead of REPOA's five-year study to understand gas and oil production, investments, local content, industry size, price levels and trajectories in the wider economy, such as government revenue, public expenditures and redistribution of wealth across the country.
 
Addressing participants, the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Mr Ngossi Mwihava, urged for credible research findings to help the government prepare a better extractive future.
 
"We want to avoid challenges that have happened in other countries that started running the extractive industry earlier," he said.
 
The study comes as the country's natural gas cache reached a massive 53tr cubic feet last week up from 51 TCF following new discoveries in the Indian Ocean.
 
In the discussion, an official who formerly worked with Caterpillar, Mr Vector Kimasela, noted that mining had not directly benefited locals.
 
He said that looking at Norway; the country has a high development index because of the extractives. An official from the President's Planning Commission said it was important for various regions in the country to build their competitive edges so that they can be able to service the gas industry.
 
Unit Trust of Tanzania- Projects and Infrastructure Development (UTT-PID) Chief Executive Officer, Dr Gration Kamugisha urged for consistence in policies that would govern the extractives industry. Prof Severin Lumama from the University of Dar es Salaam called for more research for readiness of various institutions for the sector.
 
A PhD student, Mr Chambi Chachage, called for a re-analysis of the State in light of other components such as civil society and the corporate sector.
 
"It should include the internal state in Tanzania in relation to other components like development partners, civil society, private sector, among others," he said.
 
Another expert in the sector, Mr Godfrey Mmari, said that as a reality, gold mining all over the world does not offer much in terms of taxation systems but through linkages to other sectors.
 
Presenting an unresearched commentary, a prominent researcher, Prof Sofan Bukurura, urged participants in the project to further look at the gas to power project and the experience that has thus far been achieved in the country for the last ten years.
 
He asked the team to think of how to translate research findings and recommendations from shelf to actual practice. He also urged them to look at the role of external factors including the place and conduct of international oil companies (IOCs), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Development Partners.
 
He also cautioned them on the emphasis of the Norwegian success story in the extractives, terming it as interesting as it is 'elusive'.
 
A senior lecturer from Mzumbe University, Dr Prosper Ngowi, urged that Tanzania should not really be touted as a future petrol state but one that would have the extractives going hand in hand with huge development of other sectors so that all can service each other.
 
A note from Chr Michelsen Institute (CMI), which is collaborating with REPOA and National Bureau of Statistics in the study, noted that there are high expectations that exploitation of natural resources will substantially increase the country's national income.
 
"However, the little revenues that Tanzania has received from the massive mineral extraction during the last two decades show the potential problems with such high expectations.
 
Lessons from other countries reveal that, on average, resource-abundant countries have experienced lower growth and lower economic and social development over the past four decades, than their resource-poor counterparts, a phenomenon that has been labelled the 'resource curse' or the 'paradox of the plenty'," it stated.
 
The study would also analyse the intricate relations between market and non-market institutions, governance systems, and the implications on the notion of resource curse.
 

Source : ALL AFRICA
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