The European Union has given Tanzania USD 200 million to develop its energy sector.
In a country with approximately 45 million residents, Tanzania still largely depends on wood and charcoal to supply its energy. This is about to change as the country’s electrification project gathers steam through a cash injection from the European Union in partnership with the German Development Bank and the French Agency for Development.
Under the EU’s Energy for Growth and Sustainable Development program, Tanzania will be able to access a further USD 200 million in funds to bring modernised forms of electricity to its people.
An EU report entitled “Empowering Tanzania”, published in June 2016, sheds more light on Tanzania’s abnormally low access to modern electricity.
Less than four percent of the country’s total population have access to electricity and despite having some infrastructure to support renewable energy, the country’s total output of energy amounts to approximately 1,500 MW. Of the approximately 4,700 MW of power Tanzania has through hydroelectric potential, only 500 MW has been exploited.
According to Head of the EU delegation in Tanzania, Roeland Van de Geer, reliable energy sources and electricity supply are essential to reducing the poverty that plagues the east African country. As the project gathers momentum, rural areas are expected to become a priority for electrification.
Among some of the improvements, support will be given to several mini-hydro and solar projects, and will include on the grid and off the main grid options.
Van de Geer says the EU’s support For Tanzania’s energy sector will meet the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) target to provide access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. The body will also focus on agriculture and governance to address issues of poverty and quality of life.
SDG7 is part of a 2011 initiative by the United Nations called Sustainable Energy for all (SE4All).
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