As the first East African energy conference got underway on Monday in Dar es Salaam, officials sounded a call to the private sector to play a more active role in realizing the region’s energy potential.
Tanzanian Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda underscored that private sector participation in the energy sector is a key bridge towards developing the sector. He said that the private sector has a catalytic role to support rural electrification programs which started operation in late 2007.
“What is needed is an enabling legal and regulative framework to support them,” Pinda told delegates drawn from the five East African Community (EAC) partner states.
The Premier hastened to add that governments of partner states are making efforts to create a conducive environment for the private sector through the development of appropriate energy policies, regulatory and institutional frameworks.
He noted that a regional strategy to address all aspects of the petroleum distribution system in the region, and a regional emergency petroleum supply plan to govern petroleum products in the event of a disaster or emergency had been developed.
Realising the full benefits of these efforts, Pinda added requires “innovative business models by the business community including working within the Private Public Partnership framework”.
Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, the EAC Deputy Secretary General (Productive and Social Sectors) reiterated EAC’s commitment to supporting initiatives in the energy sector, noting that developing the energy sector was key to realising the community’s mission of widening and deepening economic, political, social and cultural integration.
The East African Business Council (EABC) presented a work plan to the delegates that sought the formation of an East African energy forum that would make it easy to organize more frequent conferences of the kind to address the region’s consistent energy shortfalls.