He made this affirmation at the start of the two day Tanzania Energy Congress, the fourth in a series which kicked off at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC) in the city yesterday.
The government will facilitate acquisition of appropriate technology and ensure that foreign companies in the petroleum sub-sector help to develop the necessary skills, transfer technology and develop local personnel to managerial positions. The government will also establish approaches for local participation in each stage of the value chain so that local businesses effectively participate in the sector, he said.
Such measures would ensure that the larger firms implement career development programmes and put in place succession plans for Tanzanians employed in their companies, he said.
The series of measures is in line with facilitating the private sector to acquire technical skills for higher participation in the energy sector. Training institutions need to impart the necessary skills and a knowledge base on energy business to local entrepreneurs and experts.
Establishment of a regional natural gas infrastructure and investment in renewable energy in addition to local content development were equally important strategic issues in the sector, he said.
Skills and capacity building for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) was vital, he said, pointing at the major priorities of the government in the energy sector as the construction of East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Hoima in northern Uganda to the port of Tanga. The other project is building a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant at Likong’o Mchinga area in Lindi region.
“However, these sources will not automatically be a blessing without having a clear vision and mission backed up with appropriate policy, legal and institutional framework that guides the entire value chain of natural gas exploration and exploitation,” the premier asserted.
Energy minister January Makamba said the congress is a vital forum in raising awareness and promoting investments in the energy sector, starting from electricity to oil and gas, and a scatter of other concerns.
“It is obvious that this gathering will enable stakeholders of the oil, gas and power sectors to deliberate on the energy business in the country and worldwide,” he stated.
The main elements of the Tanzania Energy Policy (2015) include developing domestic energy resources as least cost options, promoting lower energy pricing, along with improving energy reliability, security.
Enhancing energy efficiency, encouraging local private sector participation in the energy value chain, reducing deforestation and developing human resources are vital goals for the sub-sector, he said.
“Therefore, I will very much appreciate to hear issues on clean cooking initiatives being discussed as it is a very important subsector which always does not receive much attention,” he told the gathering.
Tanzania is spearheading initiatives to bring onboard issues of clean cooking, he said, hinting that deliberations at the congress will help come up with common strategies to develop the energy sector in the country and the sub-region.
The congress is slated to cover a wide range of areas in energy business, from electricity generation, transmission and distribution to petroleum exploration, natural gas production and distribution to final consumers like power plants, industries and household use.
Abdulsamad Abdulrahim, chairman of the Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS) who steered the organizational team for the congress, said that the forum will be showcasing local brands for interested parties in the global value chain investment companies.
The forum has attracted upwards of 5,000 participants since it started, and this year it features representatives from Oman, Kenya, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Brunei, Canada, Australia, Uganda, Burundi, DRC Congo, Zambia, Britain, Comoros, Italy, China, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Norway, and the United Arab Emirates, in particular.