Royal Norwegian Embassy Ambassador to Tanzania, Hanne-Marie Kaastad and Southern Africa Customs Union, Executive Secretary, Ms. Paulina Elago were present at REPOA’s 23rd Annual Research Workshop held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
(Amb. Hanne-Marie Kaastad Providing her remarks on behalf of development partners, looking on are the chief guest Hon Prof P. Kabudi, Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs, Dr. Donald Mmari, Executive Director, REPOA and Hon. Amina Salum Ali , Minister of Trade, Industry and Marketing, RGZ)
On September 28, Dr. Donald Mmari (REPOA) and Prof. Sufian Bukurura (Law Reform Commission of Tanzania) presented their work on the strategic positioning of a NOC in the context of the new regulatory and the operating environment.
24 and 25 August, Ingrid Hoem Sjursen (Choice Lab, NHH), Kendra Dupuy (CMI/U4) and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (CMI/ATI) participated at the TrAcRevenues Workshop: Transparency and Accountability in Managing High-Value Natural Resources. Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. The Transparency and Accountability in Managing High-Value Natural Resource Revenues (TrAcRevenues) is an initiative that examines how increased transparency can help to transform natural resource revenues in developing countries into a blessing rather than a curse.
The workshop was organized by Prof Päivi Lujala, Dept. of Geography, and gathered about 25 scholars from Europe, Africa, Asia and the US, including Michael Ross (Dept. of Political Science, UCLA) and Ragnar Torvik (Dept of Economics, NTNU).
Odd-Helge Fjeldstad presented the research programme ‘Tanzania as a future petro-state’ (2014-19), including ongoing activities and findings so far. Kendra Dupuy presented a new study titled “The global participation backlash: Implications for multistakeholder natural resource governance initiatives”. The study focused on new legislations in an increasing number of countries that put major constraints on civil society and international NGOs’ work in these countries. The discussion also briefly addressed possible implications for independent research on natural resource governance.
Ingrid Hoem Sjursen presented a new paper titled “Managing the resource curse” (joint with The Choice Lab researchers Alexander Cappelen, Bertil Tungodden and Odd-Helge Fjeldstad (CMI) and Donald Mmari (REPOA)). The key research question addressed was: “Does expectations about future gas revenues affect citizens’ attitude toward a tax increase, expectations about future corruption and trust in the government?”
Countries that are rich in natural resources have not performed well in terms of growth and industrialisation. Through transparency and accountability, Tanzania aims to have a different outcome.
-One of the challenges Tanzania faces in stimulating industrialisation is ensuring that the abundance of natural resources benefit the economy more than they have done in the past, said the guest of honour vice president H. E Samia Suluhu at the REPOA annual research workshop “Making Industrialization work for Socio-Economic Transformation” on 6-7 April. At the workshop, researchers from REPOA and the Chr. Michelsen Institute discussed key questions for turning revenue from natural resources into growth.
Speaking at the workshop, Norwegian Ambassador Hanne-Marie Kaarstad, also reminded the audience of the importance of research in the early petroleum era as this played a crucial role in Norway avoiding the resource curse.
Petroleum fund Under the Oil and Gas Revenues Management Act 2015, an Oil and Gas fund was established in Tanzania to ensure macroeconomic stability and enhancement of socio-economic development. There are many different experiences from petroleum funds based on the design of the fund and initial equilibrium in the economy. In Alaska, for example 50% of the revenues go to the fund, in Chad 10-15% while in Norway 100%. The Norwegian pension fund, which is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, is often referred to as a prime example. Norwegians however, spent 23 years investing in education, health and infrastructure before they decided to put their revenues in a fund.
Professor Torvik from Norwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU urged Tanzania to invest revenues in infrastructure and human capital instead of a petroleum fund. Gathering wealth in the form of infrastructure, human capital and health is harder to loot than collecting money in a petroleum fund in a society with weak institutions. These non-lootable investments are key investments in ensuring industrialisation.
Local content Local content is agreed to be a positive requirement by all stakeholders in Tanzania. However, the road from inception to implementation has not been a smooth one and there are still many challenges facing the Tanzanian society. A key obstacle is the sense of mistrust permeating the extractives sector based on the low revenues Tanzania received from its mining sector and the continued reports of tax evasion from large mining companies.
Over the years, the number of goods and services procured locally has increased, but what is defined as ‘local’ remains unclear. For example, a large multinational plant for spare parts with a local dealership is considered to be a local procurement and the purchase of fuel from companies like BP and Orxy is local content.
Expectation Management A key challenge moving forward is to be realistic about how the sector can benefit the country, as expectations of large revenues themselves can drive the economy and change people’s behaviour. Based on a survey in Mtwara, Lindi and Dar es Salaam presented at the workshop, people expecting high gas revenues expected increased corruption. This however goes back to the point on how these revenues are managed and whether they will be accessible to looting or be invested in human capital and infrastructure making them harder to expropriate. This survey was conducted in 2015, before the elections and it would be interesting to see if citizens still feel the same under the current government or if their expectations of corruption have changed.
REPOA welcomes you to its 21st Annual Research Workshop.
Since its inception, REPOA has been organizing the Annual Research Workshop to recognize the importance of taking the opportunity for such a forum to deliberate on broader research and policy issues. The theme for this year’s workshop is “Making Industrialization Work for Socio-Economic Transformation”.