DAR ES SALAAM, 5TH AUGUST 2023
Green Goals, Financial Solutions: The Roadmap to Tanzania’s Renewable Energy Future
On 5th August 2023, the Tanzania Association of Microfinance Institutions (TAMFI) and the Tanzania Renewable Energy Association (TAREA) announced a collaboration that promised to alter the trajectory of Tanzania’s energy landscape. The objective? To ensure that renewable energy solutions, which many view as the backbone of a sustainable future, are within financial reach of Tanzania’s remotest communities.
A Power-Packed Alliance
The collaboration between TAMFI and TAREA represents the confluence of two in Tanzania’s renewable energy and financial sectors. TAMFI, with its roots deeply entrenched in the microfinance arena, has long recognized the essential role finance plays in the propagation of renewable energy projects. TAREA, since its establishment in 2000, has lit the way for sustainable energy solutions.
Ms. Winnie Terry, Executive Secretary of TAMFI, encapsulated the essence of this collaboration when she remarked, “Renewable energy isn’t just the future; it’s the present.” This is more than a mere statement. It signifies a nation’s ambition, reflecting its commitment to taking the reins of its energy future.
Dr. Matthew Matimbwi of TAREA added to this, emphasizing the importance of the statistics that show the rise in solar connectivity to 30.4% of Tanzanian households. Behind these numbers lie stories of families accessing electricity for the first time, children studying under a bulb rather than a kerosene lamp, and communities inching towards a sustainable future.
Data and Decisions
A crucial component of the two-day summit was the insights provided by FinScope Tanzania. With nearly two decades of financial trend analysis, FinScope’s data painted a vivid picture of the Tanzanian financial landscape. It showcased the evolving needs of the Tanzanian populace, highlighted areas of potential growth, and indicated sectors where microfinancing could play a transformative role.
This collaboration isn’t just about capital or technology; it’s about understanding the specific needs of Tanzania’s diverse communities. It’s about understanding that while urban areas might benefit from larger solar grids, remote communities might find more value in decentralized solar home systems. It’s about recognizing that the fisherman by the Zanzibar shores has different energy needs than the farmer in the Ngorongoro highlands.
Community at the Core
Amidst the technical discussions and data analysis, the true stars of the summit were organizations like the E-LICO Foundation. Their community-centric approach ensures that the benefits of renewable energy extend beyond the electrification of homes. E-LICO’s initiatives, such as lending solar power setups to farmers, have not just brought light but have powered aspirations. “E-LICO’s goal isn’t just to light up homes; it’s to power the businesses of farmers, breeders, and fishermen,” stated Tulibako Mwansasu, representing the spirit of community upliftment that forms the crux of this collaboration.
Bridging the Skills Gap
With renewable energy technologies advancing at a rapid pace, there’s an emerging need for trained personnel who understand these systems. This is where the Don Bosco Training Center steps in. Collaborating with TAMFI since 2018, the center has been pivotal in equipping Tanzania’s youth with the technical know-how required to be at the forefront of the renewable energy revolution.
The training center, with its presence spanning multiple Tanzanian cities, doesn’t just provide academic knowledge. It offers hands-on installation training tailored for aspiring solar technicians, ensuring that when these students step into the professional world, they’re ready to make a tangible impact.
The Path Ahead
Tanzania is blessed with abundant renewable energy resources, from its sunlit plains to its wind-swept plateaus. The government’s ambitious target of generating 50% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, though challenging, is a testament to the nation’s green vision.
This collaboration between TAMFI and TAREA, supported by institutions like FinScope, E-LICO Foundation, and Don Bosco Training Center, is not just a business partnership. It’s a statement of intent, a promise to the Tanzanian people that their future will be powered sustainably, inclusively, and efficiently.
The roadmap is clear. It’s a journey of collaboration, community upliftment, skill development, and financial innovation. It’s a journey towards a greener Tanzania, where renewable energy isn’t just a choice but a way of life.