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International Partnerships

Team Europe supports regional energy connectivity and security through Tanzania-Zambia Interconnector

News 15 December 2020 Brussels

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Yesterday, the European Union (EU) announced €30 million to support regional energy connectivity between Tanzania and Zambia. This project is part of a larger Team Europe effort amounting to €504 million, co-financed through loans from the World Bank (€374 million) and Agence Francaise de Development (€100 million). €26 million of the EU contribution will support Tanzania’s efforts to improve reliability of electricity supply and trading capacities to the region through the construction of the Tanzania - Zambia transmission corridor. The additional €4 million will support skills and knowledge development of the staff the national public utility.

On this occasion, Jutta Urpilainen, Commissioner for International Partnerships, said: “This project will increase power supply to underserved communities and decrease overall energy costs, thereby improving welfare, economic opportunities and reducing poverty. By boosting regional trade, it can also play a vital role in weathering recent economic downturn of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, it will allow for less dependency on domestic hydropower, which has been heavily affected by the recurrent droughts across the region.”

Construction of the Tanzania – Zambia Transmission Corridor

This project is part of the larger Ethiopia – Kenya – Tanzania - Zambia regional transmission corridor. Its completion will allow for regional electrical power trade between countries in the Southern African Power Pool and those in the Eastern African Power Pool. This will increase the availability of stable and reliable electric power systems to underserved areas.

The €26 million EU support will be provided as a grant to the Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (TANESCO). This contribution is crucial to the finalisation of the transmission corridor. It will cover construction costs at the border between Tanzania and Zambia, avoiding negotiations on the bearing of these costs between the two countries. The grant will also reduce Tanzania’s burden of loan repayment to the World Bank and Agence Francaise de Development by taking on part of the costs.

Development of knowledge and skills for the staff of the national public utility

To further facilitate the project, the EU has also announced €4 million to be put towards minimising operational risks of the transmission corridor. The funds will specifically contribute to capacity building of TANESCO’s staff on the operation of the electricity system, integration of renewable energy, maintenance and smart-grid technologies. These funds will be managed directly by the Agence Francaise de Development.

Background information

The EU and the Republic of Tanzania are long term partners. The EU has provided key support for development in Tanzania, with a total amount of €556 million during the period 2014-2020. Support has been focused on the following key areas:

  • Promoting fundamental rights, good governance and accountable democracy;
  • Supporting Tanzania's development agenda and Sustainable Development Goals for a better life for all, including through dedicated interventions in the area of large infrastructure, sustainable energy and agriculture, protection of wildlife and biodiversity, climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • Stimulating inclusive growth, the private sector and job creation;
  • Fostering regional peace and stability, economic integration and trade development.

Over the last six years, the EU has provided €140 million toward energy projects in Tanzania, providing reliable and affordable electricity to numerous households and businesses.

For More Information

EU cooperation with Tanzania