Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation - Transparency Issues

05 November 2014 , Willy Olsen, Special Advisor, INTSOK

Police freed two top officials of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), shortly after arresting them on charges of failing to release to the Parliamentary Public Account Committee (PAC) oil and gas contracts the government signed with foreign and local investors. The arrests on Monday 3rd November bring to a head a simmering row over whether Tanzania is getting a fair deal for its newfound natural resources.

The arrested officials were TPDC Board chairman Michael Mwanda and the acting director general James Andilile. They were released after questioning.

Huge offshore gas finds promise to lift the east African nation into the ranks of middle-income countries by 2030 and free it from dependency on foreign aid. However, the government has insisted on keeping terms of production-sharing agreements secret, raising suspicion over whom they benefit.