The European Union is going to invest in electrification of Tanzania. EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, recently signed a €50 million program during his official visit to the country to support rural electrification.
The new financial tool will support the Tanzanian government in its efforts to provide affordable and sustainable energy to the Tanzanians throughout the country by extending energy grids and expanding distribution networks. Commissioner Mimica said that the program would provide electricity to more than 3,600 villages in rural regions of the country, benefiting about 1 million people. “And this access to energy is vital: it will increase the quality of life in rural areas, improve health and educational services and bring clear benefits, particularly to women and children,” he added.
Commissioner Mimica is using his visit to the country to discuss the progress in Tanzania’s National Development Plan as well as the cooperation between the EU and Tanzania in the field of job creation, socio-economic development, sustainable agriculture, energy, governance, human rights and rural infrastructure. He also paid special attention to the role played by the young people in preparation for the upcoming summit between the African Union and the European Union scheduled to be held at the end of November.
The EU is supporting Tanzania in three core areas – good governance, energy and sustainable agriculture and development – but it is also active in its efforts to promote regional integration, particularly with focus on the East African Community and Southern African Development Community. Tanzania still hosts a large refugee population, which has fled conflicts in eastern Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and the EU has been providing support to manage the influx. The new program will be financed through the European Development Fund under which €626 million are allocated to Tanzania in 2014-2020.