13 July 2012

Tanzania: Zanzibar Readies for Own Energy Sector

AS Zanzibaris wait for the removal of oil and natural gas from union matters, the isles government is in the process of drafting the "Zanzibar Petroleum Supply Act" aimed at policing the energy sector in the islands, the house was informed on Thursday.

Moving a motion in the Zanzibar House of Representatives for the Ministry of Land, Housing, Water and Energy budget proposal for the year 2012/2013, Minister Ramadhani Abdallah Shaaban said the draft for the Act was ready.

He told legislators that his ministry was also in the process to establish "Zanzibar Utilities Regulatory Authority (ZURA)" which will be responsible for regulating energy and water supply in the Zanzibar territory.

"In developing the energy and minerals department, we have been sending some staff members abroad for training including in oil and natural gas exploration. Thanks to the United Arab Emirates (UAE)'s Ras El Khaimah for providing two scholarships," Ramadhan said.

The minister said that the government was committed to develop the energy sector and that Sweden through its development agency (SIDA) is to support awareness campaign, Energy efficiency, drafting the Zanzibar Energy Act, and Energy Statistics Data Base.

The ministry's 2012/2013 plans also include the improvement of rural electrification, and fixing of automatic electricity meter readers (TUKUZA) to ease revenue collection in the islands.

"We are also determined to have alternative sources of power. We are already discussing with multiple foreign companies that may invest in solar, wind, sea waves, and solid wastes", he said.

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