Tanzania readies to tap oil, gas resources

Tanzanias-President-Jakaya-Kikwete17 June 2013, London – Tanzania says it has made capacity building its priority to ensure that the massive discoveries of oil and gas reserves in the country are gainfully utilised.

President Jakaya Kikwete told the G8 pre-Summit event at the weekend that the government was investing in human resources to produce enough and competent personnel to manage the sector.

“One of the things we are quite keen on is to build our own capacity to regulate the sector. We are also building capacity to be able to negotiate contracts.

“We have the likes of British Gas, Statoil… all these are major companies. So the challenge is how we build capacity to negotiate by our lawyers, geologists and so on to be able to come up with an agreement that is on a win-win arrangement,” Mr Kikwete told his audience.

He said the government was addressing the issue of how it was going to utilise the huge resources gainfully so that it benefits the country and not a few individuals, including the avaricious and corrupt.

“We are learning from experience and best practices from countries like Norway and elsewhere,” he added, apparently commenting on how prepared Tanzania is to cope with its latest natural resource discoveries.

Mr Kikwete noted that the country has joined the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, which compels mining companies to publish their reports, stating exactly how much they have earned and how much they have paid to the government as tax.

He said to ensure objectivity; a multi-stakeholders group led by retired judge Mark Bomani was formed. He hailed the group for a fantastic job as the country now enjoys transparency in the mining sector.

According to Mr Kikwete, the experience gained can now be applied in the gas and oil sector. Mr Kikwete was joined in London by presidents from Ghana, Senegal and Guinea for the meeting convened by British Prime Minister David Cameron in recognition of their successes in various areas such as trade, taxation and transparency.

The pre-summit ‘Open for Growth’ event brought together wider discussions on trade, tax and transparency with business, civil society and governments.

It focused on why open governments, open societies and open economies are essential for growth, jobs and sustainable development. Discussions centred on how countries can work together to promote and practise fairer trade, proper taxes and more transparency in data, land investment, minerals, oil and gas.

The event was held on Saturday ahead of the G8 Summit scheduled for Northern Ireland for two days, starting on Tuesday. As G8 President, the UK has set the agenda for the summit, which pushes for advancing trade, ensuring tax compliance and promoting greater transparency.

– Tanzania Daily News

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