Norway’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Tanzania Domestic Biogas Programme


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On Wednesday 9th of March 2016, the Tanzania Domestic Biogas Programme (TDBP) had the honour to receive a visit from the Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Tone Skogen, as part of her official visit to Tanzania.

Ms. Skogen’s areas of responsibility include development policy and finance, international economic cooperation and business promotion. Energy is one of the core cooperation areas between Norway and Tanzania. Since January 2016, the Norwegian Government has been supporting the biogas market development through Tanzania’s Rural Energy Agency (REA).

Norway's support through REA mainly targets investment discounts to households who plan to buy a biogas plant, as an incentive to invest in the technology. These discounts are channelled through the private enterprises that construct the biogas plants, and will gradually decrease over the years. In addition to the investment discounts, the financing is aimed at expanding the biogas market development to new areas and at boosting the institutional biogas use (using biogas in schools, prisons and other institutions).

During her time in Tanzania, Ms. Skogen was able to visit one of the 184 biogas plants that have been constructed in the first two months of 2016. The visit took place in the village of Kipande Ngwavele in Meru District, Arusha region. Impressed with the results achieved so far, she particularly stressed the importance of biogas in improving women's health conditions. The Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, Mrs. Hanne-Marie Kaarstad, remarked the impact of biogas adoption on reducing deforestation due to the decreased use of firewood and charcoal for cooking. This is a cooperation area between Norway and Tanzania

The OSES company manager who constructed the biogas plant told the Deputy Minister that biogas is a good business for him and sales are only expected to grow with the investment discount provided by the Norwegian Government through REA. On REA’s behalf, Mrs. Justina Uisso indicated that off-grid energy is an important priority for the Tanzanian government, and biogas for clean cooking a keen alternative REA is glad to support. Indeed, Mrs. Sarah Kaaya, the owner of the biogas plant, confirmed that the use of firewood and charcoal is becoming history now that she is able to cook with clean gas.

The Tanzania Domestic Biogas Programme (TDBP) started operations in 2009, as part of the Africa Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP). ABPP is a joint venture inlcuding the Netherlands Directorate for Development Cooperation (DGIS), the Humanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries (Hivos) and SNV. The aim of the ABPP is to initiate and assist large-scale dissemination of domestic biogas to benefit rural households, through a market-based approach. The TDBP is hosted by the Centre for Agricultural Mechanization and Rural Technology (CAMARTEC), a parastatal under the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Marketing, based in Arusha. The Norway-funded project is managed by SNV, while building on the operational capacity of the TDBP.

Results of the Tanzania Domestic Biogas Programme (TDBP) have been very encouraging so far. With an implementation structure consisting of partners throughout the country, over 60 newly established bio-digester construction enterprises and more than 600 masons trained, the programme has resulted in over 12,000 digesters installed so far, benefitting 70,000+ people.

Check out more news on the programme and the event:
Norway supports installation of 10,000 biogas plants in Tanzania
Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Tone Skogen to visit Tanzania

Expert

Martijn Veen

Global Sector Head - Energy