Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa Zanzibar penned a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with RAK Gas LLC, state natural gas utility of the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah (RAK) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The historic signing took place on Tuesday night at Zanzibar State House in the presence of President Ali Mohammed Shein and Sheikh Said Bob Saqr Al-Qasimi the ruler of Ras Al Khaima.
The contract permits the exploration, production, development, and sharing of benefits derived from the hydrocarbon resources. The milestone liberates Zanzibar to exploit its natural resources and impact its economy and the lives of its people. The Isles President has urged his citizens to be patient with the process, promising to keep them up to date with the development of the economic activity.
The President hinted at opening future business investment opportunities to potential oil and gas exploration investors interested in having a piece of the energy sector, made possible after passing the Oil and Gas law in November 2016. The tourism-dominated economy has opened its borders to investments in various industries to build a strong economy and more competitive in the East African region.
Commenting on the inking of the energy sector deal, Sheikh Al-Qasimi said it opened a new chapter for the Zanzibar – UAE partnership. The contract strengthens the nations’ bond which could open other business opportunities in the future.
The UAE is one of Tanzania’s largest trading partner enjoying the partnership for many years. The trade balance between the two countries stands at $2 billion yearly, in favor of UAE. UAE imported $85 million worth of goods from Tanzania in 2013, with Tanzania importing $1.14 billion worth of goods from the UAE same year.
Tanzania seeks to increase tourist arrival to 500,000 by 2020, a major industry that has raked the government much of its revenue.