Tanzania Country Profile
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda on the north, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the west, and Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique on the south. To the east it borders the Indian Ocean.
Dodoma is the country's political capital and houses the Union's Parliament, while Dar es Salaam is the principal commercial city.
Tanzania is divided into 26 regions, with 21 on the mainland and five on Zanzibar (three on Unguja, two on Pemba). There are 98 districts, each with at least one council.
Currently there are 114 councils operating in 99 districts; 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are further classified as city councils (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal councils (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, Songea and Tanga) or town councils (the remaining eleven communities).
Tanzania is mountainous in the north-east, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, is situated. To the north and west are the Great Lakes of Lake Victoria (Africa's largest lake) and Lake Tanganyika (Africa's deepest lake, known for its unique species of fish). Central Tanzania comprises a large plateau, with plains and arable land. The eastern shore is hot and humid, with the island of Zanzibar lying just offshore.
Tanzania's total forest area is about 38,811,322 hectares of natural miombo and tropical forests, planted trees-both soft and hardwood, representing almost 50% of the total land area. The present annual deforestation rate is about 91,000 hectares caused by wood fuel requirements, land clearance to cater for expansion in agricultural activities, timber, construction poles, uncontrolled bush fires and overgrazing.
Tanzania contains many large and ecologically significant wildlife parks, including the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park in the north, and Selous Game Reserve and Mikumi National Park in the south. Gombe National Park in the west is known as the site of Dr Jane Goodall's studies of chimpanzee behaviour.
As of 2006, the estimated population is 38,329,000, and the growth rate is 2,8%. About 75% of the population live in rural areas. Population distribution is extremely uneven, with density varying from 1 person per square kilometre in arid regions to 51 per square kilometre in the mainland's well-watered highlands, to 134 per square kilometre on Zanzibar. The rural population is about 28.65 million, comprising 80% of the population.
Agriculture dominates the economic sector accounting for about 50% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and over 60% of the export earnings. The majority of the population is involved in various agricultural activities, mainly subsistence farming.
Tanzania has vast amounts of natural resources including gold deposits. Manufacturing and mining sectors account for about 8% and 2% of GDP respectively, while commerce accounts for about 12% and transport sector 6%. Industry is mainly limited to processing agricultural products and light consumer goods.
The annual GDP per capita is below US$300, and poverty is widespread and is rated at 36% of the population, with 35.7% of people living below the national poverty line. Unemployment is high, at about 67%, and 57% of the population live below US$1 per day and the number of rural poor is 2.5 million (UNDP).
Energy in Tanzania
Tanzania's energy demand and supply balance reflects the country's low level of industrialisation and development. The vast majority of people do not have access to electricity, and the rural population is nearly completely excluded from this source of modern energy: 2% of rural people and 39% of urban people have access to electricity while 94% of the rural population use biomass. 12% of households have access to the national grid, but only 1% is able to use electricity for cooking.
Most energy consumption is for households for cooking, with the bulk being done with biomass energy sources. Traditional biomass (mainly firewood and charcoal) is the dominant source of energy, accounting for 70% to 90% of total energy demand.
The Tanzanian electricity utility is a member of the Southern African Power Pool which aims at stabilising power supply and facilitating export to neighbouring countries. Electricity is largely generated by hydropower (60%), however this is being increasingly interrupted by droughts.
Sectoral energy consumption
Biomass – 90%
Petroleum – 8%
Electricity – 1.2%
Others (Solar, Wind, etc) – 0.8%
Relevant Institutions in Biomass Energy ConservationMinistry of Energy and Minerals (MEM)
Since 1984, the Department of Energy within the Ministry of Energy and Minerals has been working on new and renewable energy issues, including the planning and implementation of biomass projects. There are strong links to national NGOs, higher learning institutions, private companies and other relevant institutions which frequently act as implementing partners.
Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism (MNRT)
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism which deals with forest-related issues and is in the process of establishing the Tanzania Forestry Agency.
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security
Cash and food crops produce large quantities of biomass residues during harvesting and processing. The Ministry has a well developed agricultural extension network which could facilitate promotion of biomass energy related activities such as improved end-use efficiency in agro-processing, as well as briquetting of agricultural residues.
Ministry of Industries and Trade
This is the parent ministry for the Centre for Agricultural Mechanisation and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC) and the Small Industries Development Organisation (SIDO) which have both played key roles in biomass technology development and dissemination. SIDO is responsible for planning, coordinating, promoting and offering technical, economic and management services to small industries. SIDO has carried out several biomass energy projects, including one using thermo-gasification technology. Other areas of competence include design and fabrication of stoves for residential and institutional applications.
NGOs and the Private Sector
The Tanzania Traditional Energy Development Organisation (TaTEDO) is an autonomous, voluntary, non-profit environmental and renewable energy development organisation that was established in 1990. Some of its major activities include development and promotion of improved wood fuel stoves and charcoal ovens. Other relevant partners working in biomass energy sector include NGOs like SURUDE, MIGESADO, private sector institutions operating in the country and religious organisations including CARITAS, ELCT-SUDERETA, and so on.
Energy Policies and Institutions
With regard to solving energy issues of the poor, the revised National Energy Policy (February 2003) takes into consideration the need to:
- have affordable and reliable energy supplies,
- reform the market for energy services and establish an appropriate institutional framework, which facilitates investment, expansion of services, efficient pricing mechanisms and other financial incentives;
- enhance the development and utilisation of indigenous and renewable energy sources and technologies
- promote energy efficiency and conservation in all sectors.
The Government established the Rural Energy Agency (REA) and the Rural Energy Fund (REF) under the Rural Energy Act in 2005. The Agency is governed by the Rural Energy Board, which was established in 2006. The Board is also entrusted with overseeing the administration of the Rural Energy Fund. The top Management of REA was established in October 2007. The major function of the REA is promoting investment in modern energy in Tanzania. It will identify key partners and collaborators from the private sector, NGOs, local authorities, and government agencies to increase access to and enable modern energy services to reach the deepest rural areas of Tanzania. The Agency will work in partnership with investors to identify modern energy projects, provide training and technical assistance to realise its objectives, and to provide the managerial, and financial assistance to guarantee projects sustainability. The Agency will work with key service sector institutions and Ministries responsible for rural services (e.g., health, education, local government, rural development, water, etc.) to promote energy supply for productive use thereby reducing poverty and raising the livelihood in the rural areas.