TANZANIA’S relationship with the European Union (EU) is intact and has never been shaken since the official launch of the ties in 1970’s, Ambassador Jestas Nyamanga has said.
Nyamanga, Tanzania’s ambassador to Belgium said, since the ties have remained strong, then the recent move by the EU Parliament to adopt the resolution that seeks for delay on execution of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) was a result of misinformation.
According to the envoy, the ties have even become stronger after the visit by President Samia Suluhu Hassan to the EU in February this year.
Ambassador Nyamanga made the statement yesterday in a press conference that was held virtually, saying the Tanzanian government is taking a number of initiatives to clarify on issues that were raised by the EU Parliament regarding the implementation of the EACOP.
“The government through the Ministry of Energy has issued a statement on the matter and we here at Brussels shall present an official statement to the EU Parliament that clarifies all the matters that were raised,” he said.
Amb Nyamanga asserted that the EU Parliament decision was unfortunately triggered by misinformation, political and economic interests of some people as a result of coming to such a resolution of calling for a one-year delay of the project implementation.
“But still we are in good books with the EU and many of its institutions, that is why for many years, Tanzania remained to be one of the partners in various sectors,” he said.
The diplomat said, for instance, between 2014 and 2020, the EU supported Tanzanians with grants amounting to 554 million Euros out of 626 million Euros that were allocated.
He said the money was issued after Tanzania successfully met the requirements that were set by the EU, insisting that the country will continue to adhere to the set standards for better interest in the execution of various development projects.
The EU is also expecting to support Tanzania on strengthening implementation of the Blueprint guideline and sustainable energy.
“Between 2021 and 2027, the EU will provide a grant amounting to 28 billion Euros to support various development projects in Sub-Saharan countries,” he added.
The envoy further noted that Tanzania is also set to benefit from 140 million Euros meant to support development in the blue economy.
In another development, the African Union Watch (AU Watch) has expressed its concern on the EU Parliament resolution on the EACOP project.
In its reaction, the AU organ maintained that the companies responsible for the EACOP project have been implementing the project while observing human rights and environmental standards to ensure that the project does not pollute water sources.
“It is our view that the European Parliament Resolution if accepted will in effect lead to the frustration of African States’ efforts to consolidate our independence, and free ourselves from dependence on the former colonial powers,” read part of the document issued by the AU Watch Chairman Bahame Nyanduga.
For its part, the government of Uganda through its National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has issued a clarification on information concerning the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) Reports for Oil and Gas Projects.
In its statement, NEMA maintained that prior to the execution of the project, the authorities observed all environmental procedures as required.
According to a statement, the EACOP project is done in accordance with the laws of Uganda and in full consideration of and with due regards to all the agreements that Uganda is party to.
“Such agreements include the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals; UN Paris Climate Agreement; the International Energy Agency Global Energy Review 2021; the Cotonou Agreement,” noted part of the statement.
According to NEMA, the process was done in consultation with relevant lead agencies and other stakeholders including conducting public hearings for all the three projects.