Human capital is among the key drivers of economic transformation and sustainable development. With the population standing at 57 million and projected to reach 67 million by 2025, Tanzania has the potential to become a strong industrial economy if it prioritizes adequate access to basic services. Coordination between the government and other stakeholders is crucial in achieving this vision. At Songas, as suppliers of an essential service for development, we recognize that access to key social services such as education and health is a matter that concerns us all and requires meaningful and long-term investment.
The Tanzania Development Vision 2025 highlights vehicles such as education, skills development, efficient health delivery systems, water supply, and sanitation as key tools for fostering human development and social transformation. Notably, although the government bears the responsibility for providing these essential services, it is nonetheless incumbent that there are coordinated efforts by civil societies and corporate bodies through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) in supporting government efforts.
Corporate organizations continue to embrace CSR as a strategy to foster socio-economic development in localized areas. Companies such as Songas Tanzania develop sustainable CSR projects that adopt a broader approach to development. By aligning with government priorities, since 2004 Songas supplies electricity and 30,000 litres of water daily to Songo Songo Island and has spent USD 4.78 million equivalent to TZS 10.9 billion for implementation of socio-economic development projects in communities located along the gas pipeline wayleave. Hence contributing to the collective effort of building a healthy, well-educated society with improved livelihoods.
Through this investment, there have been major transformations in the communities that Songas operates in such as; 7000 students benefiting from the educational initiatives and programs, 300 small business owners impacted by the entrepreneurship training, and electricity and water projects that have changed lives and continue to benefit people on Songo Songo Island.
These projects also have pertinent impacts on individuals within communities, such as Salma Njenge, one of the beneficiaries of Songas’ initiatives, who stated that “for many years I was not able to help my family and we were struggling to attain basic needs. Through Songas, we were taught entrepreneurship and learned how to make different commercial products. Right now, the income I make allows me to support my family and meet all our day-to-day needs.” Sustainable investment operates on a large scale but is felt strongly by individuals.
Aligning CSR with government goals provides stakeholders across sectors a meaningful opportunity to play a part in contributing to the country’s development vision. For people like Salma, it means being empowered to actively participate in productive sectors that advance Tanzania’s economic growth.