ENERGY

Energy is, of course, easily the largest single cause of Tanzania’s economic problems. With nearly half of her foreign exchange resources now being devoted to oil purchases, a solution of the country’s energy problems is clearly urgent. In the short run, the foreign exchange situation can only be relieved by an increase in exports, since appreciable fuel savings are hardly possible. In the longer run, the country may expect some relief from the closure of oil-burning power stations with the progressive substitution of hydro-electric power (see Bulletin of Tanzanian Affairs, No.8 p.4). There is also some hope that exploitable domestic oil resources may be found on and near the coast. A seismic survey recently carried out by NORAD now suggests that oil is present in appreciable quantities and consideration is being given to World Bank support for an oil exploration project based on two wells on the mainland at Songo Songo and two offshore islands. Natural gas supplies are also available and the possibilities of conversion for the manufacture of nitrogenous fertilisers is being studied. A power sector study financed by Canada (CIDA) is dealing with electricity supply prospects. The International Institute for Environment and Development has been commissioned to produce a medium term energy policy which it is hoped will be available in time to be included in the next five year plan.

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