JUST imagine how Tanzania could have been today without regulators of energy and water utilities. It goes without saying that life could have been tougher for common people.
The good job done by Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Authority (EWURA) has reduced costs of living and costs of doing business. It has also earned the regulator a big name in Africa and worldwide. Going by its vision of ‘To be a World Class Regulator of Energy and Water Services’, EWURA is now a landmark name among regulators in the world after scooping a number of awards and trophies.
In 2009, EWURA emerged the best regulator in Electricity, after a Peer Review conducted by the University of Cape Town involving others regulators from Uganda, Kenya, Zambia, Namibia and Ghana.
Also in the year 2011, a research conducted by the European Union indicated that EWURA was the best regulator in Africa in terms of governance, transparency and independence. In June last year, EWURA won an award and trophy as Energy Regulator of the Year Award for Excellence 2015.
The event took place in Dubai at the Annual Africa Energy Forum. Also a report by the Bloomberg News indicated that in 2015 EWURA was leading in Africa for creating conducive environment for investment attraction in the energy sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Moreover, it has been rated the best among various water regulators from Eastern and Southern Africa in terms of good regulatory governance arrangement. “EWURA has excellent regulatory governance arrangements and in many respects could be a continental leader,” says the report by the Eastern and Southern Africa Water and Sanitation (ESAWAS) Regulators Association Peer Review.
The Report findings were presented in Dar es Salaam at the end of three days ESAWAS’ Annual Conference held last November. ESAWAS is currently composed of seven members which are Water and Sanitations Regulators from Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Zambia, Lesotho, Burundi and Tanzania. Of all, EWURA is the regulatory authority that oversees 130 utilities, the highest number in the bloc, followed by Kenya 103, Zambia (18), Mozambique (15) and Rwanda, Burundi and Lesotho has one-each.
The regulator, according to peer review has an excellent regulatory governance arrangement due to the fact that the law gives clarity to the roles and responsibilities of the regulator and foster a degree of stability and permanence in the governance and substance of the regulatory system.
The Peer Review further emphasised that among other things, the laws must clearly empower the regulator to establish tariffs, monitor the performance of regulated entities, make rules and subsidiary policy for the sector.
The law, according to ESAWAS peer review, must empower the regulator to fully enforce its decisions, standards, and rules, as well as relevant public policy, and set binding standards in such appropriate areas as technical and economic services quality.
The peer review focused among other things on regulatory governance looking at stability of policies and legislation, financial and administrative independence, accountability, reporting, appeals, transparency and participation that witnessed EWURA complying to.
ESAWAS began in 2007 as an informal meeting held among five Water and Sanitation regulators from countries in Eastern and Southern African region to exchange experiences and knowledge on matters related to water and sanitation.
Among other objectives of the Association is to enhance regulatory capacity of members to deliver quality and effective regulation to achieve public policy objectives through cooperation and mutual assistance.
Considering the weight ESAWAS report, the Fair Competition Tribunal (FCC) has given hearty congratulations to EWURA for being an overall winner among various water regulators from Eastern and Southern Africa in terms of good regulatory governance arrangement.
“Let me, on behalf of Commissioners, Management and on my own behalf send EWURA hearty congratulations for being rated as the best regulator in Southern Africa by ESAWAS Regulators Association Peer Review,” says FCC’s Director General, Dr. Frederick Ringo.
In a congratulatory note to EWURA’s Director General, Mr. Felix Ngamlagosi, Dr. Ringo added: “Clearly, your excellent regulatory structure of the governance arrangement and the clarity of your roles and responsibilities and the support from the Government have played a good part in fostering fairness, stability and substance to consumers.
We underline that the capacity, capabilities, professionalism and hard work played a critical part also. Kindly convey these congratulations to your board and employees”. EWURA) is an autonomous multi-sectoral regulatory authority established by the EWURA Act Cap 414 of the laws of Tanzania.
It is responsible for technical and economic regulation of the electricity, petroleum, natural gas and water sectors in Tanzania pursuant to Cap 414 and sector legislation.
One of EWURA’s landmark decisions is introduction and management of Bulk Procurement System (BPS). Through the system, Tanzania has saved a lot of money, which would have been spent on expenses such as demurrage costs due to ships staying too long at the port.
“Since the introduction of the system, fuel adulteration, which was an intractable problem for many years, has substantially declined,” Mr. Ngamlagosi notes. Petroleum bulk procurement system was established to ensure supply at the most competitive prices, by purchasing from a pool of imports obtained from suppliers selected through a competitive bidding process to take the advantage of the economies of scale.
A recent study titled The Fiscal Impact of EWURA Regulatory Interventions in the Petroleum Downstream Subsector, conducted by the Department of Economics, University of Dar es Salaam also testifies that the introduction of the bulk procurement system, has brought significant reduction of fuel price, increased compliance and transparency in the fuel sub-sector.