DAR ES SALAAM : PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has reiterated the government's commitment in transition to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, the goal being to diversify the sector as well as deal with electricity shortages due to the impacts of climate change.
Mr Majaliwa disclosed this on the sideline of the 5th edition of the Tanzania Energy Congress, which opened in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday.
The two-day congress is organised by the Ministry of Energy in partnership with DMG Events and Ocean Business Partners.
The congress has attracted participants from government, national and international companies, as well as small, medium, and micro enterprises from several countries including the United Kingdom, Scandinavian countries, Oman, Kuwait, and all the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and East African Community countries.
"Currently Tanzania is implementing seven key projects in the energy sector majority have been focused on hydropower generation although the scope has been expanded to natural gas and fuel generation," said Mr Majaliwa, noting that the plan is to further expand as the country eyes a mix of power generation through wind and solar sources of energy.
Thus, the meeting's deliberation envisions coming up with more solutions for participating countries including Tanzania by bringing together experts who will identify ways of dealing with the current energy shortage resulting from hydro, fuel, and gas generation.
The Premier indicated that financial institutions were also present at the congress to assure Tanzanians who will decide to venture into the projects that they can access capital.
He said such will help the country to realize its goal of becoming a major producer of electricity through the country's available resources, while ensuring access to enough, affordable, and reliable electricity for all.
"The major plan is to sell electricity outside the country...the government has taken rigorous steps in gas exploration both in the mainland and Zanzibar and companies have already started production.
"Due to climate change causing unreliable rains, water has been drained in the various sources, therefore this is an opportunity to resort to other options which the country has been endowed with.
The PM noted that the meeting is beneficial to Tanzanians as it encourages entrepreneurs to use the opportunities to partner with international companies to increase the capacity of power generation.
For his part, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Energy Dr Doto Biteko noted that the ministry was tirelessly working to ensure Tanzania has a reliable power supply, the reason they have embarked on short, medium, and long-term plans to deal with the problem. The same applies to gas and fast-track projects for a more reliable power supply.
He revealed that energy is more than access to electricity alone, indicating that over 675 million people still lack access to electricity and 2.3 billion people do not have access to clean energy.
"In the Sub-Saharan countries around 0.9 billion people still lack access to clean cooking solutions, whereas in Tanzania 78.4 per cent have access to electricity and less than 10 per cent have access to clean cooking energy," noted Dr Biteko.
He said that Tanzania, like many other countries in Africa, is striving hard to give this population access to clean cooking energy, expressing appreciation to the government for taking rigorous measures to ensure the country is not only powered but gets access to clean cooking energy.
"We are going to do everything to ensure the shortage of electricity in the country is reduced by increasing more sources of power generation," he stated.
For his part, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Eng Felchesmi Mramba identified among the seven strategic projects implemented in the country include the Singida project still under feasibility study, the Rusumo project combining three countries which are Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi.
The Director of Ocean Business Partners Mr Abdulsamad Abdulrahim said that the global gathering has been instrumental in the creation of 2,000 direct and indirect jobs since inception in 2017 and attracted a record attendance of 5,000 participants from 25 countries within the four years.