The Tanzanian-Norwegian Energy Relationship, 1970-2020

The Tanzanian-Norwegian Energy Relationship, 1970-2020 represents a comprehensive historical exploration of the energy discourses and rhetoric that have stood at the core of the Tanzanian-Norwegian development relationship for half a century.

From large-scale hydropower projects to the discovery of substantial offshore gas reserves, the project will take an in-depth look at the evolution of Tanzanian-Norwegian energy cooperation in Tanzania from 1970-2020. The project will analyze how “constellations of influence” – rapidly evolving agglomerations of state, corporate, and civil society actors – became critical focal points for debates on the Tanzania’s energy future, as well as related issues such as sustainability and development.

Nuancing, challenging, and building upon existing historical narratives, The Tanzanian-Norwegian Energy Relationship, 1970-2020 will focus on four major Tanzanian energy projects characterized by extensive Norwegian involvement: Stiegler’s Gorge, Pangani, Kihansi, and the Tanzanian “gas boom” of the 2010s.

Objectives & Research Questions

  • How did Tanzanian-Norwegian constellations of influence affect development and energy discourses in Tanzania? Were Norwegian discourses transferred to Tanzanian actors through these constellations? If so, how?
  • How did Norwegian discourses on Tanzanian energy development evolve from 1970 to 2020? How did the discourse change after large gas reserves were discovered in Tanzanian waters and the energy discourse shifted from hydropower projects to petroleum production?
  • How were Tanzanian-Norwegian energy discourses influenced by North-South dynamics and power asymmetries? In other words, how did Tanzanian actors discursively engage their Norwegian counterparts? Furthermore, how did Tanzanian actors leverage rhetoric to compensate for resource asymmetries and influence Norwegian actors?
  • How was the Tanzanian-Norwegian energy discourse influenced by different opinions around energy exports, domestic needs, and economic sustainability/profitability?





Published Dec. 1, 2020 4:37 PM - Last modified Apr. 25, 2022 1:43 PM