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Tanzania Oil and Gas Conference paving way for East Africa’s Energy Future

Tanzania’s Vice President, Hon. Samia Suluhu Hassan urged the private sector and government to collaborate to find solutions on how to develop the nation’s oil and gas sector.

Hon. Hassan made these remarks as she officiated the 1st Oil and Gas congress themed ‘Promoting Government & Industry Collaboration in Tanzania’s Oil and Gas Sector’. The two-day event was held Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the 11th -12th of September 2017, and brought industry stakeholders from within and outside the country to discuss the way forward following the Uganda-Tanzania pipeline deal.

The congress comes three months after the two presidents of Tanzania and Uganda, His Excellency President John Pombe Magufuli and H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni respectively laid a foundation stone for the historic construction of 1445 KM pipeline deal valued at 3.5billion USD.

The pipeline will run from the landlocked Hoima, Uganda to the coastline of Tanga, Tanzania and is expected to be completed in 2020. The project is estimated to employ over 30,000 Tanzanians, providing vast opportunities for the country’s business community.

Vice President Hassan  pointed out the immense opportunities in the pipeline deal, but also challenges that need to be addressed. She stressed the importance for both the government and investors to sit and find ways to solve these challenges. Such challenges include local technical expertise, capacity for local suppliers to deliver on the standards set for the project and a satisfactory legal framework that can attract investments.

‘’The congress comes at an opportune moment where there are both opportunities and challenges in the oil and gas sector. I believe the conference will provide solutions on how the oil and gas sector can underpin the development of our country’’ said the Vice President.

She added that the Uganda-Tanzania pipeline is strategic for the benefit of the region and will bring among other things, the increase of trade between Tanzania and Uganda, the opening of the Northern  business corridor especially in neighboring Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan.

Abdulsamad Abdulraham, Managing Partner of Pietro Fiorentini who organized the event, called upon Tanzanians especially the private sector to take advantage of opportunities presented in the pipeline project.

‘There are many areas of interest for local Tanzania companies to participate, let us take advantage of this  project and engage ourselves to be a part of this historic deal and not leave everything to be done by foreigners’’ said Abdulraham.

Abdulraham who is also the Vice Chairman of the Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Providers (ATOGS) a member- based organization urged its members to collaborate with foreigner investors such as Total and Prezioso who are involved in the construction of the pipeline.

Since its inception ATOGS has been working tirelessly with oil and gas stakeholders to represent the interest of local companies as they position themselves to participate fully in the sector.

Also present at the congress was Tanga Regional Commissioner, Hon. Martin Shigella who assured investors that Tanga is ready for the project and has prepared all necessary infrastructure to ensure the projects runs smoothly. He welcomed both local and foreign investors to come and invest in Tanga as the region is set to boom once the project takes shape.

The conference also attracted different stakeholders such as Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, Energy and Water Regulatory Authority, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, Private law firms, banks and logistics companies.

The two-day conference ended with a signing of partnership agreement between ATOGS and Association of Uganda Oil and Gas service providers (AUGOS) in which the two bodies will collaborate in sharing knowledge, expertise and resources necessary to build a competitive oil and gas industry in the region.

By Athanasius Lupatu, The Exchange

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