The Minister spoke warmly of SEI’s engagement with Africa and Tanzania, noting especially the commitment of the Institute to understanding local and regional challenges and contributing to capacity development through the SEI Africa Centre, which is located at the Institute for Resource Assessment at the University of Dar es Salaam. The dialogue with Professor Tibaijuka identified a number of areas where the expertise of the Institute and SEI’s Africa Centre will be particularly relevant to the Minister’s portfolio. Tanzania is exploring ways and means to improve the productivity in agriculture in general and the possibility of large scale bioenergy production in particular. SEI’s experience of developing sustainability assessment methods related to land, water and energy use can help to understand potential impacts and trade-offs. She stressed the need for Tanzania to develop an independent “Think Tank” capacity of its own to guide the policy process in the country.
The Minister stressed the need to move away from idolizing a pastoral system that was no longer economically viable. She argued that development solutions to be for the long term and that they should be relevant for the rapid urbanization of the African continent (for example in providing ‘good enough’ and acceptable sustainable sanitation solutions for urban areas).