Rural electrification projects in Tanzania a management perspective

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University of Dar es Salaam
The rural areas in most poor countries like Tanzania are home to large populations that eke their living out of subsistence agriculture. However their living standards have been negatively affected by under-developed systems of infrastructure like water supply, electricity and transport in their villages. One of the reasons for the deprived condition of the populations in the rural areas is the very low access to development inputs like electricity. Demand for electricity in the rural areas is growing faster than the available power supply and the gap between the demand and supply does not seems to narrow down to a significant dimension despite the efforts being made by the Government to alleviate the situation and this phenomenon needs to be looked into. The objective of this study was therefore to seek an insight into the rural electrification projects in Tanzania from a management perspective with regards to planning, coordination and control. Six questions were developed to meet the research objective. The research was based on qualitative (descriptive) paradigm and in the process; fifty senior officials from MEM, REA and TANESCO were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. The respondents disclosed that the Government was responsible for inadequate and delayed funding of the rural electrification projects. Frequent political interferences were also a constraint factor in rural electrification thereby eclipsing application of important project management principles and theories. As result, Tanzania’s current level of access to electricity can at best be described as meager and at the current rate of electrification (12%-overall) it is unlikely that a significant proportion of the population will access electricity in the near future. In order to enhance electrification, alternative approaches to grid extension and off-grid systems must be considered. In this regard, new renewable technologies would be expected to play an increasing role. However, for the full potential of these technologies to be realized, legal, policy (e.g. taxation, tariffs, subsidy, etc.), technical and institutional factors must be addressed in order to lift barriers to the generation of these technologies.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class Mark (THS EAF HD9688.T34M87)
Rural electrification, Rural electrification projects, Management
Mushi, B. M (2009) Rural electrification projects in Tanzania a management perspective, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam