I have nothing against the Tanzanian people (who are much warmer than Kenyans!) but my rant is about the idiotic policies of the Tanzanian leadership that created the mess.
Kenyan "rulers" are no better but the Kenyan populace has taken trade liberalisation to heart.
No hand-wringing will help TANESCO but I rather Kenyans (& not the Chinese) export to TZ. TZ money flowing to Kenya often flows back to TZ. TZ to China is generally one-way!
Tanzania's (partially) self-inflictedcrippling electricity shortage/crisis elicits little sympathy from me.
Whereas , inadequate rainfall, & low water levels, at some dams forced the shut down of turbines e.g. Mtera, TZ never developed their MASSIVE coal deposits in the south. Why?
Tanzanian politicians & xenophobes consistently refuse to acknowledge that an economic alliance with Kenya will greatly benefit BOTH countries. They feel that SADC has more to offer than a resurgent EAC.
An electricity grid linked with Kenya's grid would provide BOTH countries with the ability to sell/trade surplus electricity. Furthermore, Kenya (through the semi-privatised KenGen) is fast developing alternate sources - geothermal & baggasse - to keep up with the increased demand as well as maintaining "excess" thermal capacity.
Kenya experienced good rains since April 2006 & has surplus capacity, which may be sold to Uganda. Kenya could have sold the excess to the (northern) Tanzanians had they cooperated with Kenya in connecting the grid.
Northern Tanzania is a natural extension of southern Kenya (& vice versa) including the electricity grid, road & rail network and petroleum supply (pipeline). Just look at the National Parks (Masai Mara & Serengeti) or the Masai who live on either side of the border!
Northern TZ has better roads than Kenya but the rest of the infrastructure is of inferior quality. It makes business sense for KenGen/KPLC to extend the network to TZ since it provides both a source & market for electricity.
KPC should (if TZ agrees) to extend the pipeline to Arusha. If KPC is privatised, I expect the pipeline to reach Kampala, possibly Rwanda, so why not Mwanza? Arusha & Mwanza could do with a shot in the arm since they are among Tanzania's largest commerical centers.
Connecting the road network (Kenya needs to do much more on it side) & removing trade barriers will lead to increased cross-border trade esp for fresh fruits & vegetables from TZ to Kenyan towns & lodges.
Mombasa can act as a much more efficient port for TZ users if the rail network is extended to northern TZ. With the recent privatization of KR, it need not cost either government much - since the private sector will pay for it - BUT the benefits are substantial!
Since TZ industries are crippled, as I argued in an earlier blog, the Kenya government needs to turn a blind eye to Kenyan traders who are "exporting" goods to TZ. Let Kenyans "smuggle" local goods e.g. cooking oils, fats, soap, tyres, mabati, etc to the northern TZ. These are essential goods for the Tanzanians while Kenyan industries can get a huge boost.
Kenya needs to improve the roads leading to the Kenya/TZ border. Let the traders figure out how to get the goods from Kenya into TZ. They will find a way... In the meantime, Kenya's factories can start churning out more goods for export!
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