Tanzania is not prepared to “immediately gain in a sustainable manner from the huge discovery of gas” in the country, in the opinion of the head of the country’s official think tank. I “In terms of money power to effectively engage in the gas industry we are not prepared. That is key”, argues Bohelo Lunogelo, Acting Director of Tanzania Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) . “ Is it our fault we are not prepared? Yes and No”, he told Tanzaniainvest, a publication and website portal.
Lunogelo said that Tanzania had been engaging and commissioning “unfortunately foreign companies, because we were not within the capacity to do exploration. So the foreign companies started looking for something useful. They reported back that there was nothing to there but never left and kept exploring”. He said that the country was not prepared “when suddenly they said there was Gas. We had no time to train experts so they outsourced everything”.
The ESRF was created with a view of informing the Tanzanian public and private sectors in the country on policies to pursue, how to implement those policies, to follow up on and gain feedback on these policies, the Tanzaniainvest explains. Dr. Lunogelo said that “No Tanzanians benefitted”, from the gas exploration effort. “The local economy is not benefiting much. People are employed but in terms of high-end expertise and service to that operation, it is not there. So of course, we are now starting to train our people. Secondly, our unpreparedness also comes in with the affiliated sectors that come in with the gas sector. Production factors need to be configured, transport sector need to develop and local capacity to service machinery must improve. We also put in network system for domestic use of liquefied natural gas”.
Lunegelo should lead Tanzania to attract investors for the gas opportunities, no Country does it alone whether its in the east, west or elsewhere, do not miss this opportunity!.