Oil and gas exploration industry is a fast-growing sector. A proposal has been put forward in Tanzania to cancel licensing for this industry for the next 10 years to develop the infrastructure to accommodate this fast-growing industry.
Mr Zitto Kabwe, the Parliamentary Public Organisation Accounts Committee (POAC) Chairman, stated that there are still many things to be done if Tanzania has to take advantage of this industry’s full potential. Minister for Energy and Minerals also said that the government would not be issuing new licenses ahead of the Fourth Licensing Round in Texas.
This is a commendable stand by the government. The oil and gas exploration industry requires huge investments and an expert labour force, which is unavailable in Tanzania. Only a handful who have been trained abroad can take up positions in this industry. Local universities and colleges have not been able to produce a suitable labour force for this industry.
The country is currently taking many measures for socio-economic development. To sustain these measures and have positive results, priority must be given to developing internal potential through training explorers, scientists, engineers, and technicians to take up key industry positions.
Currently, only multinational companies are running the show. In future, the country has no say in the harnessing of its natural resources in such a scenario. Thus the government must resist all pressure from donors and developers to issue licences and maintain a firm stance.