THE Stiegler's Gorge project implementers have met to strategise on how to advance implementation of their project, after the recent meeting in Dodoma of Permanent Secretaries on the way forward.
Their meeting came after the government invited bids to build a 2,100-megawatt (MW) hydroelectric plant in Selous Game Reserve. On his part, Energy and petrol Commissioner, Engineer Innocent Luoga said the project is vital in the country, and stressed on the need to light also villages under the ongoing rural electrification scheme.
Earlier, while presenting a report on the progress of the project in one of the meetings, Engineer Leonard Masanja, who is directly in charge of them, pointed out how last week the ministry announced tenders to secure a contractor for the implementation scheduled to start next year in February.
Eng Masanja said a team of experts from the ministry and some from the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) as well as the National Roads Agency (TANROADS) was formed to lay down preparations for the project, before its supervisory work was handed over to be shared with the Ethiopian experts.
Late in June, President John Magufuli decided to start the implementation of the project, which had been pending for decades in the past regimes despite it being advocated for in 1970 by the first President Julius Nyerere.
The initial meeting in Dodoma, chaired by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Dr Hamisi Mwinyimvua discussed the current power demand in the country, noting it as the basis of industrial economy implementation.
"The Fifth Phase Government is driving the country towards the middle-income economy by 2025. In order to reach the target, there must be concerted efforts to raise up electricity production for industries," he said.
The Permanent Secretaries who attended the meeting were from the Vice President's Office, Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of Finance and Planning, and Minister of Defence and National Service and Home Affairs Ministry among others.