Key stakeholders gathered to discuss Tanzania’s future as a petro-state
Close to 200 representatives from the government, academia, civil society and media were present when CMI, REPOA, and the National Bureau of Statistics presented their new research programme Tanzania as a future petro-state at the Hyatt Hotel in Dar es Salaam Friday 24 October.
Huge volumes of natural gas have been discovered offshore in Tanzania. There are prospects that the country will become a major hydrocarbon exporting country over the next decade. There are high expectations that exploitation of natural resources will substantially increase the country’s national income. However, the little revenues that Tanzania has received from the massive mineral extraction during the last two decades shows the potential problems with such high expectations. Lessons from other countries show that, on average, resource-abundant countries have experienced lower growth and lower economic and social development over the last four decades than their resource-poor counterparts, a phenomenon that has been labelled the ‘resource curse’ or the ‘paradox of the plenty’. Avoiding the resource curse will be a major task for the Tanzanian Government. This will require empirical understanding of key prospects and challenges facing Tanzania as a future petro-state.
The overall objective of the programme is to enhance the empirical understanding of key prospects and challenges facing Tanzania as a new petro-state, and to provide contextualised and evidence based policy analysis in order to contribute to avoiding a resource curse situation. A major motivation for the programme is to facilitate and promote informed policy dialogue and debate in Tanzania on petroleum sector governance. To achieve this, the programme aims to:
(a) improve the extent and quality of research that can contribute to more informed policy making and public debate in Tanzania, particularly on issues related to natural resource management for inclusive growth;
(b) disseminate this research and knowledge to key decision makers and the general public; and
(c) build research capacity in Tanzania.
This five-year (2014-19) institutional collaborative programme for research, capacity building, and policy dialogue is jointly implemented by REPOA and CMI, in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam.
The discussions in Dar es Salaam provided useful inputs to the further development of the programme and clearly showed that the topic is of major interest to many segments of the Tanzanian society.