15 million Tanzanians connected to grid since 2015

Tanzania’s national grid now supplies mains electricity to 70% of the country’s 55 million citizens, an increase of almost 30% in the past two years, it was announced this week.

The claim was made by Innocent Luoga, acting commissioner for energy and petroleum affairs, speaking at a conference in South Africa. He said this was the best performance of any country in East Africa, and that further progress would be made in the next few years as the government extended its rural electrification program.

Altogether, electricity distribution has increased from 40% in 2015 to above 68% in 2017, but whereas urban areas now have close to universal supply, only half of rural communities have been hooked up.

Luoga added: "The government is committed to developing the energy sector. At present the installed capacity is 1.3GW, with the contribution from natural gas 615MW, hydropower 568MW, diesel 70MW and biomass 10.5MW."

The government’s main challenge will come with rural electrification (

The electrification programme will face its toughest challenge in the countryside, where much of the southern and eastern provinces have little or no distribution networks and low population densities.

However, the degree of progress over the past eight years has been remarkable. In 2009, biomass supplied 88% of the country’s energy, which had a serious knock-on effect on public health and the environment. The growth in electricity distribution has been accompanied by rapid economic growth, the emergence of China as a major investor and the discovery of large offshore gas reserves.

Top image: More than 15 million people have been connected to the modern world in the past two years (Tanesco)

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