Thursday, November 05, 2009

(HERALD) Tanzanian delegation in Zim

Tanzanian delegation in Zim
New Ziana.

A delegation from Tanzania is in Zimbabwe to study the model of the Rural Electrification Agency for possible adoption in their country, an official said on Tuesday.

REA business development director Joshua Mashamba told New Ziana that the Tanzanian delegation, which arrived on Sunday, was on a week-long visit during which they would tour projects in the country.

"We are having a delegation from the Tanzanian Ministry of Energy who want to form their own REA and want to learn from Zimbabwe," he said.

Mashamba said the five-member delegation on Monday toured projects in Mashonaland Central and was expected to tour Mashonaland Central Province yesterday.

He said the delegation comprised an assistant commissioner in the Tanzanian Environment and Energy Ministry who was leading it, an official from the country’s Attorney General’s Office, a legal officer in the ministry and a technical manager in the water and energy regulatory authority.

Zimbabwe is the only country in the region with a dedicated agency to spearhead rural electrification.

Although other countries are implementing programmes to take electricity to rural areas, they are doing it through national power utilities, whose attention is sometimes more focused on urban areas where there are consumers that pay.

The Zimbabwe government established REA in 2002 through amendments to the Electricity Act which provided a legal framework for collecting an electricity levy to be used in funding rural electrification.

Previously a unit in the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority was charged with electrifying rural areas.

It is the second time that the Tanzanians have visited Zimbabwe as they came again in 2004.

Zambia also sent a delegation on a similar mission early this year while the Namibian government also sent one two years ago. — New Ziana.

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