ARTI-TZ welcomed visitors from the World Bank responsible for the Biomass Energy Initiative for Africa (BEIA). Waqar Haider, Sector Leader – Sustainable Development, and Jing Li, Economist for the Africa Energy Group, conducted the first visits to monitor the progress of the BEIA project in Tanzania on the 15th and 16th of August. The project, “Production of Charcoal Briquettes in Tanzania” recently completed training & equipping 360 people in 12 villages in Bagamoyo District, the first of four Districts to receive the training.
Nachiket Potnis, Executive Director of ARTI-TZ, Kennedy Mremi, Lead Trainer and James Mariwa, Trainer, joined the World Bank visitors.
The first day activities included a visit to the World Bank’s country office and the offices of the Rural Energy Agency (REA) in Dar es Salaam and to the villages which have already received training in Bagamoyo District. During the village visits the team was able to meet village councils and participants that have already received training.
On the second day, Nachiket accompanied the World Bank team to Mlandizi Village in Kibaha District where a training was in progress. Visiting a training in progress allowed the team to see the training methodology first hand. Mr. Haider and Ms. Li provided valuable encouragement for the progress made with the trainings and constructive comments that will certainly help guide our team as we work towards the commercialization of charcoal briquettes in Tanzania.
The visit concluded with a visit to the ARTI-TZ office in Mbezi Beach, Dar es Salaam where the ARTI-TZ team had time to discuss with Mr. Haider and Ms. Li on ways the commercialization of charcoal briquettes could be further invigorated. From the discussion the main priority was to ensure trainings prioritized business skills for the villages producing briquettes. It was suggested to encourage some producers to play an additional role as “District Champions” to help coordinate producers and to help make those producers viable for larger partners. ARTI-TZ reaffirmed its commitment as an innovation broker tasked with tackling bottlenecks in the value chain, particularly with creating briquetting capacity and generating consumer demand for charcoal briquettes in urban areas where charcoal consumption is high.
The World Bank monitoring visit was timely as ARTI-TZ is completing monitoring and evaluation after completing training in Bagamoyo District. The observations and recommendations will be incorporated within the projects first M&E report.