Obama’s Power Africa project awards 4 projects

Four Tanzanian firms have each been awarded at least USD100, 000 each (equivalent to 166.2m/-) to implement power projects in under-served rural areas.

The four are winners of the ‘Power Africa Off-Grid Energy Challenge’ that is part of US President Barack Obama’s larger Power Africa initiative.
Speaking during the handover event yesterday in Dar es Salaam, United States of America’s  Ambassador to  Tanzania, Mark Childress, said the competition was aimed at increasing electricity generation and access especially on off-grid or micro-grid solutions so as to serve rural populations.
“In today’s Africa, we need new approaches to bringing power to every community, particularly reaching those that are underserved by conventional grid-based systems,” he said.
He pledged that the US government will continue to support the winners until the completion of the project while urging the residents where these projects will be implemented to offer their cooperation.
The off-grid solutions deploy renewable power for social economic activities to the under-served and marginalised populations in rural areas.
They aim at promoting innovative energy solutions that can develop, extend or otherwise scale-up the use of proven technologies for off-grid energy.
Director General of Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), Felichesmi Mramba, commended the US government for its contribution to Tanzania’s power sector.
“I commend efforts made by the government of America in extending this help that will allow rural communities access to reliable power supply and thus support their social and economic development,” he said.
Mramba also said there is an increased demand for power for both industrial and domestic consumption and as such, called on more companies to invest in power generation ventures.
“Technology is changing, population is also increasing so we need more companies to help supply more people with electricity, because power scales up economic development,” observed Mramba.
In his comment, Managing Director of Lung’ali Natural Resources Company Ltd, Luciano Mpoma, one of the four winners, said their project is aimed at serving 15 villages in Kilolo District, Iringa Rural with a population of 30,000 people.
He said their project will help reduce use of charcoal and dependency on kerosene for cooking and lighting. He said the electricity they will serve will be generated at low costs allowing affordable service charges to the consumer.