The Tanzania Rural Energy Agency (REA) recently announced the beginning of implementation of the Rural Electrification Program Phase III.
In its 3rd phase, the project aims to electrify more than 7,873 villages in rural Tanzania over the next 5 years.
7,697 villages will be connected to the national grid, while the remaining 176 will be connected to other energy sources.
The total cost of the project will be TZS7tn. TZS4tn will be spent on electrification of villages that have never been connected to electricity and TZS3tn will be spent on villages that already have electricity infrastructure.
The project will be implemented by private contractors and supervised by REA, the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) and a Trust Agent.
As of June 2016, 4,395 villages in Tanzania were connected to electricity during Phase I and II of the project.
This represents 36% of the 12,268 villages in mainland Tanzania.
The goal of the Tanzanian Government is to electrify all Tanzanian villages by 2021.
REA is an autonomous body under Tanzania’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals. Its main role is to promote and facilitate improved access to modern energy services in rural areas of mainland Tanzania, where approximately 70% of the 50m population lives.
Lutengano Mwakaesya, former Director General of REA, explained to TanzaniaInvest: “REA complements the role of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals and that of TANESCO. […] TANESCO is a commercial entity but the role of REA is mainly developmental. “
“Thus, REA has to see into it that that there is equitable development in this country, changing the livelihood of the rural people, trying to assist the government to attain both social and economic objectives in the shortest time possible,” he added.