Continents »  Africa »  Tanzania
Tanzania: Household Energy Sector Governace


A Household energy demand and use
B Household Energy Supply
C Household Energy Sector Governace
D Household Energy Information
E Household Energy Case Studies

C. Household energy sector governance

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM), Department of Energy and Petroleum Affairs, is the responsible lead agency for energy matters. Due to the characteristics of household energy consumption in Tanzania, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Forestry and Bee-keeping Division, also plays an important role. Lead agencies like the MEM or MNRT provide strategic guidance and sectoral governance, and wield executive powers. They also administer state subsidies, where these are available (fuel substitution efforts were subsidized by the government in order to promote kerosene). In Tanzania, commercial energy (electricity and fossil fuels) planning is carried out in a centralized fashion by the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Department of Energy and Petroleum Affairs, in collaboration with related energy parastatals. The MEM has no local offices that could deal with the planning of energy issues at the regional and district offices.
Biomass resources which supply wood fuels (firewood and charcoal) are managed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. The demand side of the wood fuels is not managed or co-ordinated by any governmental institution.

There is no formal institutional framework at the national and local level to monitor and co-ordinate energy projects and programmes.


The Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (TANESCO) is responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Tanzania with an installed capacity of 860 MW. At present the electricity supply industry in Tanzania is dominated by a vertically integrated electricity supply and distribution utility TANESCO which is state owned.

A uniform pan territorial tariff is charged with a lifeline tariff of the first 100 units of consumption.
Only 1 % of the rural households are electrified. For rural areas government follows a selective process of electrifying district head offices, agro-processing industries and economically viable settlements near the grid.
The Ministry of Health and the Directorate of the Environment / National Environmental Management Council (and the Office of the Vice-President) are more distantly involved in energy matters.


The government does not manage firewood supply. Rather, communities collect firewood or buy firewood from an unregulated market. Sources of wood include: Natural forests, village wood-lots, public woodlands, small-holder farms. Whereas people in rural areas depend on the natural forest resources for their wood supplies, those in urban areas rely on wood vendors. Wood is cut from natural forests and transported by trucks to urban areas.

Wood is sold in various quantities. When managing forests (plantations or natural forests) firewood is one of the products, sometimes given to the nearby population under certain regulations (e.g. only once a week, only dead wood etc). The supply for firewood is also regulated by law, even if it is not always enforced.


Charcoal production, trade and use is a more than Euro 120 million industry in Tanzania. The industry is not managed by any governmental structure. The industry is in the hands of informal sector where the government has very limited control. Charcoal is produced from wood cut from natural forest by rural charcoal producers who uses traditional earth mound kilns. It is then packed into 30 kg bags and transported to urban areas where it is either sold wholesale in bags or in small quantities of one kg by charcoal vendors or households.

Measures intended to manage supply and consumption of energy more rationally, are in the case of low-income social strata mostly focused on renewable energy sources, specifically through promotion of improved charcoal and wood stoves. Efforts to promote the use of biogas, solar home systems, and small hydro-power technology have been going on for years, although on a relatively small scale and mostly in an isolated fashion. These efforts have been targeted at remote rural areas, which are not likely to be reached by grid electricity in the medium to long term. New, lager size and more organized renewable energy programmes are being initiated by the government with the support of several donors. Energy saving in low-income households happens both involuntarily and through outside intervention. Under adverse economic conditions, households are compelled to turn to alternative, less expensive energy sources. In more severe situations, households will have to cook less hot meals, and avoid using energy for heating in order to save money. Households also tend to use different options in parallel, switching to alternative sources of energy according to availability / prices and the specific cooking requirements.


Kerosene is imported by private oil companies, and sold at fuel stations. There is a fairly well established kerosene distribution network, which facilitates the use of kerosene in low-income urban and rural households.


LPG is commercially available - although in very small quantities - through some Petroleum companies. The structure for the supply of LPG is not adequately developed. Distribution of LPG is strictly regulated for safety reasons. LPG distributors and retailers must be licensed by the government.

Overall households' electrification in Tanzania stands at less than 8 %, in rural areas it is about 1 %.

Last edited by Miriam Hansen .
Page last modified on Sunday September 19, 2010 17:28:38 GMT.
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