Economic nationalism? Domestic gas, rent capture and power generation: a comparative analysis of Mozambique and Tanzania

Thabit Jacob, Padil Salimo, Rasmus Hundsbæk Pedersen, Lars Buur, José Macuane

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Recent gas finds in Mozambique and Tanzania and the subsequent state-centric model of domestic gas utilization have created opportunities for new sources of revenue and power generation, as well as reigniting the debate on economic nationalism. Although both countries have recently adopted reforms by separating the commercial and regulatory functions in the gas sector and share the state-centric approach to natural gas production, economic nationalism in the gas sector is driven by different circumstances in the two countries. The big questions are how domestic gas utilization differs in Mozambique and Tanzania, and what this says about economic nationalism. To highlight the differences in economic nationalism in the two countries, we contrast how the political elites in Mozambique and Tanzania exploit natural gas to create new spaces for capturing rents and generating power. In Mozambique, the gas that is retained for the domestic market rather than being exported has emerged as a key feature of new gas deals. We argue that in Mozambique the recently adopted regulatory frameworks have enabled the ruling elites to create new spaces for capturing rents and thus ensuring regime survival. In Tanzania, conversely, a combination of economic nationalism and previous bad experiences with independent power producers in the gas sector seems to have enabled the government to adopt a more active state-led approach towards domestic gas, with a focus on power production in order to boost energy security.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date10 Sep 2019
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2019
EventFrom Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference: The Politics of Governing Natural Resources I - Manchester University, Renold hall, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Sep 201911 Sep 2019


ConferenceFrom Politics to Power? Rethinking the Politics of Development ESID Conference
LocationManchester University, Renold hall
CountryUnited Kingdom
OtherPolitics was finally brought into the mainstream of international development around a decade ago. However, whilst most development academics and agencies accept that politics plays a central role in shaping development in the Global South, the incorporation of politics within development theory and practice remains partial and subject to backsliding. This international conference will take stock of what work on the politics of development has achieved to date, identify further opportunities for drawing on the full range of scholarship on politics and development, and set out future research agendas for the field.
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  • Economic nationalism
  • Tanzania
  • Mozambique
  • Gas

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