Tanzania, one of the initial set of six Power Africa partner countries, will on Wednesday sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish an energy regulatory partnership with regulatory agencies of the US illustrating the respective roles of all parties involved in the partnership.
During his recent trip to Africa, US President Barack Obama announced Power Africa as a new initiative that aims to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa.
Under the initiative, the US Government will provide various tools of technical assistance, private capital mobilisation/facilitation efforts, and capacity building to advance private sector energy transactions while assisting Tanzania to adopt and implement policy and regulatory reforms needed to attract private investment.
As one of the activities under Power Africa, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is supporting a regulatory partnership programme through Tanzania’s Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA).
“The programme is a vehicle for the exchange of experience and information between the US and Tanzanian regulatory bodies with the goal of improving practices in electricity and natural gas sectors and fostering long-term sustainable relationships between regulatory agencies in both countries,” an official of the US Embassy here said Monday.
Through exchanges, according to the official, both partners will share experiences, lessons learnt, and best practices as Tanzania continues to create and implement fair and independent regulations to ensure the efficient, transparent, and stable functioning of the electricity, and natural gas sectors/markets while protecting the interests of consumers and investors.
The regulatory partnership programme is designed as a vehicle for the exchange of experience and information between US and international regulatory bodies, with the goal of improving regulatory practices and fostering long-term sustainable relationships.
According to part of the details, the partnerships allow broad access to US regulatory practices and offer both partners the chance to learn new techniques and methodologies as well as gain an understanding of the international regulatory environment.
Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria are the Power Africa priority countries which the African Development Bank (AfDB) has pledged to work with for a successful implementation of the initiative.
“We expect to allocate as much as US$3 billion over the next five years. This will leverage at least four times more investments in the energy sector,” AfDB President Donald Kaberuka said at the launch of the Initiative on 2 July, 2013, in Dar es Salaam.
At the signing of the MoU, Tanzania will be represented by EWURA Chairperson Simon Sayore and Ewura Director General Haruna Masebu while the US will be represented by Ambassador Alfonso E. Lenhardt, USAID/Tanzania Acting Deputy Mission Director Craig Hart, NARUC International Programmes Officer, Ms. Umida Hashimova, and Commissioner John T. Colgan of Illinois Commerce Commission.