Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tanzania: Energy Deals Faulty - Ewura

Dar es Salaam — Power production agreements that are not handled transparently are the reason for the recent problems in the energy sector.
The poor outcomes, according to the Energy and Water Utility Regulatory Authority (Ewura), always result in frustrations among the general public, politicians and other stakeholders in the sector.

The revelations were made in the city yesterday as local stakeholders in the sector met with their Kenyan counterparts with the Tanzanian side wishing to draw some lessons from the neighbouring country.
According to Ewura's director general Haruna Masebu there has been an overlap of responsibilities in the government that have led to poor planning, procurement and contracting in the power sector.
"We want to achieve consensus on the best way for government entities to cooperate in power sector planning, procurement and contracting. Ewura is committed to improving the outcomes of power procurement," Mr Masebu said.

The director general said his entity was also responsible for approving the initiation of procurement of power projects and approving purchase agreements. He said guidelines were underway to ensure procurement processes were following stipulated laws.

Mr Masebu said Tanzania's recent experience with procuring new generation projects has been less successful, noting that the situation did not help the country which largely depends on hydro electricity.

He said Kenya's experience showed that clarifications or amendments on the roles and responsibilities of different government organisations could start a self-reinforcing cycle of improvement."Giving organisations the autonomy to perform different functions and holding them accountable for results would give sector participants incentives to build capacity and develop the necessary skills," he said.

Speaking earlier, the guest of honour, deputy minister for Energy and Minerals Adam Malima said the government was doing all it could to attract private sector investment in the power generation sector.

"For this to happen, we have to streamline government approval processes, improve accountability for results, enhance transparency and create a stable investment climate that attracts private sector involvement in the Tanzanian electricity sector," Mr Malima said.

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