Reports have it that Tanzania has overtaken Nigeria as the African leader in rural electrification projects. This is due to the fact that the electrification programme being implemented through Rural Energy Agency (REA), in the East African country has yielded sub substantial achievements.
Placing Tanzania in the top slot in the African continent in 2016, the World Bank approves a $209 million financing program to enable the implementation of a six-year Rural Electrification Expansion Program in Tanzania. (WB)
Dr Medard Kalemani, the Minister for Energy, made this known while addressing Masasi District defense and security committee members during his official visit to inspect power projects in the area.
“Initially, Nigeria was the leading country by 72 per cent, but we are now leading in the continent, as we have reached more than 74 per cent now,” said the minister.
Dr Kaleman stated that a total of 9,001 villages in the country have been connected; of these 3,559 villages were connected through the first round of Phase Three Rural Electrification Project (REA III-1), which is ongoing.
He further stated that REA III1 will be completed in June 2020 but the government has agreed with the contractors executing the project across the country to finish the relevant work two months earlier, so they are expected to hand over the project to Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), by April 31, 2020.
Dr Kaleman said the government has decided to review the action plan that enabled them to increase the number of villages that will benefit from the project in the Masasi District.
“In the original design, only a few villages were to benefit from this project. This is because other villages fall under the jurisdiction of councils or cities and not districts and thus did not meet the criteria since they had the status of streets and not villages,” he explained.