2015-10-12) Gas availability has brought Tanzania and Mozambique closer, as the two countries have promised to work together to attain development in their respective countries. Speaking at a state banquet here on Thursday, president Kikwete said the two countries should also cooperate on marine security.
“We both agree that we must make sure that our joint permanent commission plays its rightful role to ensure that there are meetings of minds, to engage on the need to cooperate and share experiences in the oil and gas sector because the gas fields are both on the Tanzanian and Mozambican side along the same border,” he noted.
“We should also cooperate on maritime security. We have to guard our resources since threats are many and also because we have not yet built enough capacity of our own. People come and steal our tuna fish without our knowledge,” he added.
The president´s call on bilateral cooperation on maritime security with Mozambique comes as the parliament recently passed a protocol that seeks to protect Tanzania’s interests in the Indian ocean and all economic activities currently going on there.
Some of these activities include ongoing oil and gas exploration. Tanzania is believed to have an estimated of 55 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves The implementation of the protocol would go far in securing activities in the ocean since there is immediate cooperation on security among all the countries that are party to it and part of the protocol.
The ‘Protocol for the suppression of unlawful acts against the safety of fixed platforms located on the continental shelf-SUA Protocol 1988′, would ensure security and safety of equipment and all activities going on along Tanzania’s long coast and beyond- through strict collaboration with all countries that have ratified it already.
The Protocol is part of implementation of Convention for suppression of unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation Protocol1988’ African countries that have already ratified the protocol now include Tanzania, South Africa, Algeria, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Comoro, Djibouti and Equatorial Others Guniea, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Egypt, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Swaziland,Togo and Tunisia.
Recently, Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation Geologist & Public Relations Officer, Mr Sebastian Shana said that in the light of recent big gas discoveries, the government is coming up with appropriate policies and legal frameworks to guide future exploration, and exploitation of the resources.
He said exploration activities are picking up in shallow and deep waters in the country but that the Somali pirates activities are on the increase, necessitating exploration companies to spend a lot of money (about $5 million per month per company) for security instead of those funds being directed to exploration.
Speaking on the same, President Kikwete said such cooperation would ensure natural resources explored are safe from threats, but also others like fish. He noted that with such measures, Tanzania and Mozambique are now translating their strong political relations into strong economic and trade relations.
Source: Tanzania Daily News
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