"THE government had invested heavily in addressing many underlying concerns for the country's natural resources, including the amendments of laws governing the sector, the review of production sharing agreements and strengthening of institutions operating in the sector," said the Minister for Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani.
Reading the speech on behalf of the minister during the launched book whose key message is how best Tanzania can utilize gas and oil for development. Entitled: "Governing Petroleum Resources: Prospects and challenges for Tanzania, Assistant Commissioner of Gas in the Ministry of Energy, Mr Sebastian Shana said, "The objective of these revisions is to avoid pitfalls that many resource rich- countries have succumbed to and ensure further investments in the sector allow win-win investment pacts between the government and private investors."
He added that while there had been significant progress in attracting investments in the sector, a big challenge remained on how to enhance the capacity of the domestic private sector to utilize opportunities presented in their respective communities.
Meanwhile the Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania Elisabeth Jacobsen commented that the findings and recommendations in the book would be of use to decision makers.
According to her, the book also emphasizes key policy findings that should be carefully considered. "First, it points to the importance of strong and competent institutions for governing petroleum. Second, it underlines the need to have robust and progressive regulatory regimes, well-defined legislation, tax and fiscal regimes - both in terms of political, institutional and economic aspects."
Norway's development shows what was possible when a country tried to manage and use resources for the benefit of all citizens. "People do not claim to have the one model that fits all, but experience can still inform other countries," said the ambassador.
The Research on Poverty Alleviation (Repoa) Executive Director said the book was motivated by differences in experience of other oil or gas-rich countries and different views on how these resources should be optimized for respective country developments. He said the diversity of views and economic, social and political outcomes depended largely on how those resources were exploited, utilized and distributed. "Some countries with massive natural resources have chosen to use them for internal economic and social needs," he added.
According to him, while the influence of various institutional environments and political choices on socioeconomic outcomes in different countries may not be so obvious to casual observers, literature provides striking evidence of both positive and negative outcomes associated with those choices.
The book launched was jointly developed by Repoa, Christian Michelsen Institute (CMI) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) under sponsorship of the Norwegian government.