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Sweden & Tanzania

Energy cooperation

The Swedish cooperation in the energy sector in Tanzania covers a wide section of the sector, such as generation, transmission and distribution of electricity; strengthening the capacity of ministries, agencies and utilities; improving policies, laws and regulations; and private sector collaboration.


Increasing the access to modern and environmentally sustainable energy, not least for the rural population, is a prerequisite for growth but remains a major challenge in Tanzania.

About 90% of Tanzania´s total energy needs are met by traditional resources such as charcoal and firewood. Its use leads to accelerated forest degradation which has serious environmental consequences. Firewood collection and use is at the same time consuming and has considerable negative health effects, particularly for women and children. Modernisation of Tanzania´s energy sector therefore has multiple benefits and Sweden´s support in the sector primarily aims at increasing the access to electricity as a means to decrease the dependancy of firewood and to enable economic development. In Tanzania  electricity accounts for less than 2% of the total energy use. It has a large impact on the economy however.

Even though Tanzania has abundant fossil fuel resourses, such as coal and gas, there is also a great potential for increased utilisation of renewable energy such as geo-thermal, hydropower, solar, wind and sustainable use of biomass. Sweden’s support in the sector aims at supporting the increased share of renewables in the energy mix.  

The energy sector is also hampered by inefficiencies. Increased energy efficiency is therefore also a means to achieve improved energy access.

Swedish support

The result Sweden aims to achieve during the 2013-2019 period is "Increased access to sustainable energy, including the ambition that at least 300,000 people gain access to electricity".

Sweden aims to achieve this through the following, currently ongoing projects:

  • Increased electricity access in rural areas through the grant financing of grid extension in rural areas and through off-grid solutions in areas not planned to be covered by the grid in the near future. This work is mainly carried out in cooperation with the Rural Energy Agency with procured private companies as implementers. Through challenge funds Sweden is also supporting promising renewable energy projects implemented by private sector partners.
  • Institutional support, sector reform and financial turn-around by supporting capacity development of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the power utility TANESCO and the Rural Energy Agency in mainland Tanzania and on Zanzibar the Ministry of Lands, Housing, Water, Energy and Environment and the Zanzibar Electricity Company (ZECO).
  • Larger investment projects such as Hale hydropower rehabilitation project and Makambako-Songea transmission/substation/distribution network project. These projects are supported by a blend of grants and commercial credits.
  • Increased energy efficient appliances, starting with lighting products, is the goal of a project with private sector actors, such as importers, distributors and dealers.
  • Through regional and global support to e.g. ESMAP, EnDev.

Sweden collaborates closely with other donors. Eg DFID on REA, WB, EU, Norway, USAID/Power Africa.  Dialogue with GoT, REA. Chairing the Energy Developemnt Partners Group (EDPG).

Recent results

Important results that Sweden contributed to include:

  • The portfolio of projects financed by Sweden has led to more people in rural areas had access to electricity, directly contributing to almost 20% of all rural electrification in the country.
  • Through e.g. challenge funds for energy projects, Solar Home System providers have been supported in establishing themselves in Tanzania. Over the past five years in excess of 100,000 homes in Tanzania have been fitted with solar panels by these companies for lighting purpose and use for small appliances. These challenge funds have also supported a number of smaller renewable energy project in rural areas, mainly based on hydropower.
  • Through support to the Rural Energy Agency, some 23 companies (as of late 2017) have been supported for isolated grids based on renewable energy sources. These 23 projects are currently in the building phase and when operational will have installed some 23 MW of renewable energy and connected some 35,000 households. Subsequent procurement in 2018 under this programme will connect more households and install more generation capacity based on renewable energy.


Jörgen Eriksson (

Stephen Mwakifwamba (

Last updated 21 Dec 2017, 9.23 AM