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Sub Saharan Africa is advancing rapidly and the opportunities it presents are extensive. With its young, urbanising population and shift from agriculture to industrialisation – demand for reliable and cost-effective power is on the rise.

We believe that natural gas is the right solution to power Africa’s ambitious development goals. With the continent projected to become the third-largest source of global gas demand growth by 2040, its rich supply, accessibility and low-cost makes it an attractive solution for Africa’s emerging economy.

A far from level playing field

Africa’s population is among the fastest growing and youngest in the world. One in two born between now and 2040 are set to be born African, and the continent is poised to be the world’s most populous region by 2023, overtaking China and India.

Sub Saharan Africa has some of the lowest global energy access rates, with 13 countries in Sub Saharan Africa having less than 25% access. In Tanzania, access sits at 33%, with some 7.7 million households still without access to power.1

1 USAID Power Africa Fact Sheet: Tanzania, 2020.

A spotlight on Tanzania

Tanzania sits at the heart of East Africa and plays a strong economic role in the region. With a population of 58 million people and one of the highest birth rates in the world, its population is set to more than double by 2050.

Alongside its booming population, the Tanzanian economy has enjoyed significant growth with an annual GDP growth rate averaging 6% within the latest decade3. While poverty has declined as a whole, absolute numbers remain flat due to its high rate of population growth.

Tanzania’s economy is diversifying fast, adding considerable pressure on its energy demand. Low access rates and supply limitations have delayed social and economic growth in the past, requiring a concerted effort to reach those that need it most.

1 UN World Population Prospects, 2019.
2 USAID Power Africa Fact Sheet: Tanzania, 2020.
3 World Bank World Development Indicators Data Bank 2021.

Natural gas as an emerging solution

The benefits of natural gas in Tanzania are profoundly impactful and sustainable. A recent report by the Tanzanian Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) shows that Tanzania has saved around US$15.61 billion by switching to natural gas, from more expensive liquid fuels, such heavy fuel oils (HFOs) since 2007.

Demand for industries to connect to the electricity grid is high, with companies providing funding for constructing infrastructure to their plants and being refunded through operational returns.

Natural gas is also enabling Tanzania to transition from dirtier, higher carbon intensive fuels. Since the introduction of gas-fired power generation in Tanzania, 121 million litres of diesel and HFO have been replaced by natural gas. This had led to carbon savings of 328,000 tonnes (CO2), securing a cleaner future for the country and its people.2

1 The Citizen, 2020.
2 Since 2007; Based on internal calculations.

The Wentworth opportunity

Sub Saharan Africa is a sleeping giant that will soon be an economic powerhouse on the world stage. With GDP growth of circa 6% year-on-year, Tanzania plays an exciting role in fuelling regional East Africa growth. With 7.7 million people in the country still without access to energy – we are working with our partners to generate over 50% of the country’s power generation through natural gas.