The government of Tanzania has committed to continue increasing its efforts towards supporting small and medium sized mining enterprises to foster the increase of local content in the mining sector.

This was revealed yesterday when the Acting Commissioner for Minerals (Tanzania), Mr. Ally Bondo Samaje was delivering his speech at the national conference on minerals, oil and gas organised by Policy Forum in collaboration with Haki Madini and the Interfaith Standing Committee for Economic Justice and Integrity of Creation.

Mr. Ally said the government is working proactively to ensure a win-win situation that includes small scale miners. “Benefits from mining should not always be seen in terms of royalties or taxes but in a wider social economic spectrum in which local content brings more benefits than tax based benefits that result in the so called Dutch disease” he said.

He added that, the ministry is implementing a sustainable management of mineral resources project whose main objective is to strengthen the country’s capacity to manage the mining sector through various interventions. The Tanzania Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative  is also in the course of implementation by the ministry to ensure more transparency and good governance in the mining and petroleum sectors.

On the part of oil and gas activities in Tanzania, Mr. Bondo said that apart from Songo songo and Mnazi Bay fields discovered a few years back, there are five other discoveries in Mkuranga, Kiliwani, Pweza, Chewa and Chaza which are under the appraisal phase.

He said that through support from the Government of the Peoples Republic of China in an agreement with the Government of Tanzania, a 532 kilometer 36 inch gas pipeline will be constructed from Mnazi Bay in Mtwara to Dar es Salaam via Somanga-Fungu. The maximum capacity of the pipeline will be 286 billion cubic feet per year which is sufficient to meet thermal and electricity demand of up to 3,900 Megawatts.

He concluded by saying that presently a lot of effort is going into the preparation of policies and legislation to regulate the oil and gas sector. He said that the guiding principles for the policy and legislation were: the use of resources to create lasting benefits to society, efficient resource management, transparency, accountability, competitiveness, productivity, protection of the environment,  conservation of biodiversity and co-operation among stakeholders.

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