Hello from Tanzania

It’s 7:30 PM on 21 October and I’m more than a little jet lagged as I return to my hotel room after a full day of meetings.  Normally we fly straight into Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from Amsterdam but the flights were full so my colleague and I had to spend the night in Nairobi, Kenya.  As you may recall, Nairobi is where terrorists attacked the Westgate Mall and killed many innocent civilians.  Well, I had our taxi driver swing by and show us the outside of the mall before heading to the Hilton.  Needless to say it was a bit spooky to get so close to where so much evil had just been.  We were off early this morning to continue our journey to Dar and flew past Mount Kilimanjaro (the highest point on the African continent) on the way south.  Stopped on the island of Zanzibar to drop off some passengers and then flew to Dar.  It is certainly an odd feeling to be the only one or two white faces among a city of Africans but no problems with the Tanzanians being some of the most friendly and affable people I’ve met in my travels.  We are meeting with government officials as we try to complete the negotiations around our solar projects and solar-powered water well project portfolio.  We met this afternoon with the the Energy and Water Utilities Regulatory Administration, which is equivalent to our Arizona Corporation Commission regarding the approval process for our projects.  Interestingly, they use many of the same regulatory tools used to set tariffs and rates as those developed by economists in the US and used by our own State and Federal government.  The reach that the US has in places like Tanzania is quite impressive when one considers the fact that they are trying to do the right thing in terms of good sound economic policy.  As with most anything, it comes down to access to investment capital!


I fly to Dodoma to meet with the University Vice Chancellor and Deputy Vice Chancellor and to see the site where our proposed project will be built.  There are many good opportunities here in Tanzania, which is one of the more stable countries in Africa.  The economy is improving here and lots of construction and activity which is a good and healthy sign.   The Power Africa initiative proposed by the President is starting to attract capital investment based on US manufactured goods and services and I see a number of American businessmen in the hotel lobby from Caterpillar, GM, Microsoft and others.


Well I better get back to work so I’m prepared for my meetings tomorrow.  Many, many thanks to Mr. Cole for filling in for me on such short notice.  I will be back in full swing next week after returning to Phoenix on Sunday.  I’m sorry I won’t make the San Francisco Peaks outing (one of my favorite places!!) but stay safe and warm up their lads and I look forward to seeing everyone next Tuesday.


Good night from Dar es Salaam!


Mr. Turner