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This paper deals with needs and availability of data, statistics and information in Tanzania. It relates to a five-year (2014–19) research programme on prospects and challenges for the petroleum sector. 

The main objectives are

  • to present a brief analysis based on data which is accessible at present and
  • to sketch a structure for the Tanzania Petro Data Hub (

The Data Hub will supply data, statistics and information of specific relevance for research on petroleum related issues in Tanzania. It forms one part of a two pronged web portal. The web site ( will present information about research and the petroleum sector in Tanzania. The Petro Data Hub, presented below, will compile and present data related to Tanzania’s transition into the “petro” age which is not easily available from other sources. The Hub will focus on the data needs of four kinds of audiences: (a) researchers working under the various research components  of the programme, (b) the wider research community, (c) civil society and (d) other individuals taking a special interest in the petroleum sector and its social and economic effects in Tanzania.

We will work closely with Tanzania’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Also other institutions will assist the Petro Data Hub establish baselines. These will be used for tracking development during the five-year programme period and beyond. The Hub will also collate, compile and store data produced by the research components of the programme. It will make such data accessible for researchers outside the programme.

Sections 2 and 3 below provide information on the current state of the petroleum industry in Tanzania. We thus illustrate the present availability of data on the industry and its economic and social effects. We start (in section 2) by briefly sketching various aspects of the resource base and its exploitation. Section 3 looks at the economic contribution of the gas resource. We consider GDP, investment, external trade and balance of payments, employment and fiscal contribution.

Section 4 deals with statistical needs and challenges and section 5 sketches a proposed structure for the Petro Data Hub.  We use experience from Norway to exemplify some of the challenges of supplying data for policymaking in Tanzania. Section 6 briefly summarizes. We stress the importance of cooperation between programme partners and other stakeholders.