The TANESCO rural electrification programme is, at present, concentrated on bringing electricity supplies to small and medium sized provincial towns and to agro-industries such as cotton ginneries and sugar factories. These towns have populations ranging from 3 000 to 50 000 people. Out of the 66 towns in this category, a total of 34 remained to be electrified at the beginning of 1990. The electrification of small villages and isolated farmhouses is not being carried out on a significant scale at this stage.
A pilot study to develop the methodology for the present survey was conducted in July 1989. The isolated diesel supplied town Babati was selected for the pilot study. Based on this experience, detailed socio-economic and technical studies were carried out in February-March 1990 in a further three areas. Two of these, namely Njombe and Sumbawanga are isolated diesel supplied areas, whereas the third area, Same, is supplied from the national grid. Briefer technical reviews of another 30 areas were also carried out. Out of these, 15 are supplied from the national grid and 15 are isolated areas supplied with diesel generators. The results of the surveys have been documented in a number of topical reports (2 – 8).
Since inflation in Tanzania is rapid, with an annual inflation rate approaching 20 per cent, cost data given in this report are outdated before the report is published. This is of no significance for the conclusions drawn, since the relative prices of various goods and services have not been greatly affected.