REDP Round 1 (2016-2019) was implemented by the Rural Energy Agency (REA) and financed by the Government of Norway. The program has been highly successful. Through REDP Round 1, 392 villages in six regions have been electrified, 29 900 new connections have been made, exceeding the goal of 17 200. This has resulted in 143 000 people being connected to the electricity grid.
The PUE program as a central component of the REDP aims to create economic opportunities for the local population that has been connected to the electricity grid. Through the PUE program, 4200 people have attended information campaigns about the importance of electricity in providing better educational and health services and improved agricultural production. 350 local entrepreneurs have become members of a mentoring program and have achieved great results with a 41 per cent increase in average monthly profit in 2018 and more than 300 new jobs have been created.
Based on the good results of Round 1, the REDP has been extended with subsequent rounds from 2019-2021. The Ambassador states that Norway is very pleased with the results and is happy to work together with Tanzania to achieve the goal of connecting at least 75 percent of households to the electricity grid by 2035. This national goal links closely to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to clean and affordable energy. The SDGs framework is regarded by Norway as a guiding transformative global roadmap in the process of eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity.
The delegation met with the Mkuranga District Commissioner, Filberto Hassan Sanga, district representatives from TANESCO, before they visited two local entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the REDP and especially PUE. Through connecting to the grid, the local brick production entrepreneur explained how production costs have decreased and efficiency improved. This enabled him to increase production from 600 to 1000 bricks per day, purchase more machinery and ultimately employ more people. The price per brick has also reduced from 1200 TZS to 900 TZS per, potentially allowing more people to construct solid houses. Another business owner explained how access to electricity allowed him to expand on his borehole business, increasing the amount of water he could sell to the village while also cutting the price per water unit. With the additional income he received from having electricity in his shop and selling borehole water, he ensured his children’s access to primary and secondary education.
The Ambassador emphasizes the importance of visiting and learning from the people who are involved with the project. Through interaction with those who are implementing and benefitting from the project, the Embassy together with its Tanzanian partners can further improve their cooperation for the advantage of the people of Tanzania.