Tanzania: Awesome Rural Electrification Feats

Tanzania: Awesome Rural Electrification Feats

PRESIDENT John Magufuli’s government has ushered in a new light, changing massively the country in the electrification frontier as thousands of individuals and institutions in rural areas have been connected to power.

The government has efficiently implemented Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Election Manifesto – 2015/2020 through the Rural Energy Agency (REA).

The Energy Access and Situation Survey II for 2019/2020 released in April this year shows that 78.4 per cent of the total population in Tanzania Mainland has access to electricity compared to 67.5 per cent in 2016/17.

Looking at rural – urban differentials the 2019/2020 findings of the Energy Access and Situation Survey II for 2019/2020 released in April, this year, indicate that 99.6 per cent of urban population have access to electricity compared to 97.3 per cent observed in 2016/17.

The rural population with access to electricity in 2019/2020 is 68.8 per cent compared to 49.3 per cent in 2016/17 and that is equivalent to an increase by a whopping 21 per cent.

The report that was released jointly by REA and National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and whose introduction was given by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Engineer Zena Said showed that in rural areas in respect of households connected to electricity, accounted for 24.5 per cent in 2019/2020 compared to 16.9 per cent in 2016/17.

While the government makes it possible for citizens to have such access, it is upon the latter to take steps to be connected.

In general, the survey results showed that 90.7 per cent of social infrastructure and services covered in the survey were connected to electricity, whereby 84 per cent of the said infrastructure and services are connected to Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco)/REA, followed by solar (nine per cent), local private entity (four per cent) and two per cent are connected to generators. One per cent were using other sources of connection such as wind and gas.

“From 2016/17 to 2019/2020, in overall, there has been an increase of 10.9 per cent of population with access to electricity whereby rural population with access to electricity has increased by 20.5 per cent and urban population by 2.3 per cent.

Geita region has the highest increase in terms of its population accessing electricity (27.8 per cent) … region with smallest increase is Kilimanjaro (1.9 per cent),” said the joint report by NBS and REA.

Engineer Said was of the view that the report would enable the Ministry of Energy, REA, Tanesco and other energy stakeholders to gauge the progress made towards achieving national electrification targets as stipulated in the Tanzania Development Plan Vision 2025, the Second Five Year Development Plan 2016/17 to 2020/2021.

It will also help in other international development agendas including the East African Vision 2050, the Africa We Want 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030.

That is a huge leap forward, as the fifth phase government that is winding up its business to pave way for the general election has succeeded to oversee implementation of the CCM Election Manifesto, yielding substantial achievement to the extent of placing the country in the top slot in African continent.

CCM Election Manifesto 2015 pledged to increase power connection pace from where REA I and REA II ended, electrify all secondary schools, hospitals, water sources and increase the number of villages accessing electricity.

The ruling party that had Dr Magufuli as its candidate in the 2015 presidential election promised to increase connection level from 36 per cent in that year to 60 per cent this year.

Inaugurating the Parliament on November 20, 2015, President Magufuli said access to power had been a chronic problem in the country in spite of the efforts put by previous governments, pledging to complete electricity projects and come up with new ones.

“We cannot talk of putting up industries while we do not have enough electricity. My Government will ensure the country has adequate and reliable electricity.

We will complete the current power projects and introduce new ones so that many more citizens benefit from the energy and that new small, medium and big industries are constructed,” the Head of State said in Parliament.

In his budget speech in the parliament on May 8, this year, Dr Kalemani shared the feats under the ministry as an increase on the number of clients connected to power from 1,473,217 in June 2015 to 2,766,745 by April this year.

That translates to new clients are a whopping 1,293,528 – that being an addition of 88 per cent in clients.

The government, also, through Tanesco and REA continued to connect the clients at a reduced and cheap rate of just 27,000/- in all rural areas.

He unveiled that overall electricity access rate moved up from 67.8 per cent in 2016 to 84.6 per cent this year.

The REA III aims to reach out to 7,873 villages. Until December 2015 some 2,018 villages had access to electricity, according to the minister and that as of April this year the number of villages with such access had shot to a record surging 9,112 villages in April this year, that being an additional 7,094 villages.

That has caused Tanzania to leapfrog Nigeria that was boasting of a record 72 per cent rural electrification.

Source: Daily News

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