PRESIDENT Jakaya Kikwete announced a massive programme to transform the Tanzania National Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) into a full-fledged power utility to ensure majority of Tanzanians access and enjoy electricity.
In talks with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Daniel Yohannes, in New York on Wednesday, President Kikwete said his government has taken stern measures in dealing with corruption as a way of improving good governance.
Mr Kikwete, during the meeting on funds being disbursed by MCC to the country, appealed for the inclusion of Tanzania in the second phase of the MCC funds in which the government wants to channel them towards increasing the number of people with access to electricity, construction of rural infrastructures especially the staple food producing areas.
He said electricity supply in urban and rural areas is among his government priorities whereas when he joined office in 2005, only ten per cent of Tanzania had access to electricity while presently it stands at 21 per cent and his projection by 2015 is to reach 30 per cent.
President Kikwete told Mr Yohannes that Tanesco has gone through various hurdles in meeting its goals thus the government has decided to take special initiatives to address the challenges the power utility faces.
"We are working towards major rehabilitation of Tanesco in terms of its structure and charges to its customers; we have made a move and the changes are key, if we want to reach the set target," he said.
He was responding to Mr Yohannes who wanted to know the measures the government has taken in dealing with corruption and solving the challenges Tanesco is facing.
Mr Yohannes also gave Mr Kikwete the updates on the second phase of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) for Tanzania. Tanzania enjoyed the biggest share of the fund through the MCC during the first phase whereas it was granted 698 million US dollars that were meant for infrastructures, rural power supply and airports.
Meanwhile, President Kikwete said the country is not conducting human trafficking business but unruly people are using the local infrastructure for the business.
However, he said, the government is working closely with neighbouring countries where the human trafficking trade originate to see into it how they will join efforts in combating the business.
"The human trafficking business does not originate in Tanzania as it starts in Ethiopia through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and finally South Africa.
There was a time when we managed to nab 19,000 and we sent them back to Ethiopia at our costs," said Mr Kikwete.
In another development, Mr Kikwete on Tuesday chaired the meeting on Environment for African Union leaders which aimed at coming together with African Union (AU) common stand to be tabled during the World Environmental Conference in Poland in November.