THE government has expressed its commitment to ensure that by the year 2021, all 12,265 villages countrywide will have been electrified under the Rural Energy Authority (REA) project.
The assurance was made here yesterday by Commissioner of Energy, Mr Innocent Luogam while presiding over biannual meeting between REA and some development partners.
Opening the meeting, Mr Luoga said so far more than 7,000 villages have been electrified countrywide, thus commended the development partners engaged in meeting the target.
He said the move to have all villages electrified was being supported by the government in its industrial drive agenda, where energy is a key stimulator.
The Commissioner further said that by the year 2025, they will have increased megawatts from 1,600 to 10,000 for more reliability and affordability of the energy.
In the process, he thanked the development partners towards increasing access and connectivity in rural areas. In a related development, Mr Luoga promised government’s cooperation towards the Rural Energy Fund, which it ensures that it was being managed well.
Expounding, he expressed the government’s commitment especially for equitable distribution of project’s goals to benefit mostly women, children, and disabled people.
“We assure you of transparency in the implementation of the project, and funds’ use, and at the end of the day it will improve the national economy and drive industries,” Mr Luoga pointed out.
Earlier, Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Elisabeth Jacobsen said access to electricity was a priority for development partners to raise the livelihoods of the citizens.
However, she said that there is need to have frequent public awareness campaign so that communities own the electrification project to kick start their economic activities.
The envoy further said that their pilot survey revealed that such a project in the rural areas should be accompanied by soft loans advanced to them to raise their economic statuses.
She said the project showed satisfaction in the communities, because a number of economic activities ranging from Milling machines, Hair Dressing Saloons to Bakeries amongst others sprang up.
“The special campaign to people connected to electricity to start up small business has been a blessing to many, and as of last year, more than 240 got permanent employments,” added Ambassador Jacobsen.