Huge volumes of natural gas have been discovered offshore in Tanzania. There are prospects that the country will become a major hydrocarbon exporting country over the next decade. There are high expectations that exploitation of natural resources will substantially increase the country’s national income. However, the little revenues that Tanzania has received from the massive mineral extraction during the last two decades shows the potential problems with such high expectations.
Lessons from other countries show that, on average, resource-abundant countries have experienced lower growth and lower economic and social development over the last four decades than their resource-poor counterparts, a phenomenon that has been labelled the ‘resource curse’ or the ‘paradox of the plenty’. Avoiding the resource curse will be a major task for the Tanzanian Government.
The Tanzania as a future petro-state: Prospects and challenges programme is a five-year (2014-19) institutional collaborative programme for research, capacity building, and policy dialogue. It is jointly implemented by REPOA and CMI, in collaboration with the National Bureau of Statistics. The programme is funded by the Norwegian Embassy, Dar es Salaam.
The overall objective of the programme is to enhance the empirical understanding of key prospects and challenges facing Tanzania as a new petro-state, and to provide contextualised and evidence based policy analysis in order to contribute to avoiding a resource curse situation. A major motivation for the programme is to facilitate and promote informed policy dialogue and debate in Tanzania on petroleum sector governance. To achieve this, the programme aims to:
- improve the extent and quality of research that can contribute to more informed policy making and public debate in Tanzania, particularly on issues related to natural resource management for inclusive growth;
- disseminate this research and knowledge to key decision makers and the general public; and
- build research capacity in Tanzania.