DAR-ES-SALAAM, The policy and law are in place and the government is only finalising the regulations needed to ensure local participation in the country's emerging energy oil and gas sector, says the acting Director of Local Content at Tanzania's National Economic Empowerment Council (NEEC), Esther Mmbaga.

She said on the sidelines of the first Oil and Gas Annual Congress here Monday that a lot of work will be needed to build local capacity skills for effective participation in the oil and gas sector. The government will work closely with investors to ensure successful implementation of local content in the country, she added.

Mmbaga explained that investors would have to provide information on what they need in terms of skills, products and services and the NEEC, in collaboration with training institutions, would provide Tanzanians with the required training to attain the needed international standards.

Currently, the government is conducting a baseline study to identify the competence of Tanzanians to participate in the oil and gas sector before coming up with short and long-term plans to bridge the gaps in capacity and skills.

The law requires that Tanzanians be given priority in employment opportunities in the sector, in terms of providing services and direct jobs. But, this will only be achieved if we have skilled and capable Tanzanians, she said.

She added that in case of a skill deficiency in the country, the contracted foreign companies would be required to enter into joint venture with Tanzanian companies to transfer technology and skills to Tanzanians.

During discussions at the congress, the country Chairman of PanAfrican Energy Tanzania Ltd, Patrick Rutabanzibwa, said the local content regulations are in the interest of Tanzania and investors, offering a viable way to maximize profits from the industry. Consultation with all stakeholders on the issue of local content is key to successful implementation and maximising profit, he explained.

Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) gas distribution manager Thobias Rwelamila assured investors that the government would collaborate with all stakeholders.