Tanzania offers India uranium deal

By Manish Chand, IANS,

Dar es Salaam : Even as nuclear power comes under a cloud following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Tanzania, East Africa’s economic powerhouse, has invited India to invest in uranium mining and underlined that India is a “special friend” it turns to for advice and capacity building.

Support TwoCircles

“Uranium was discovered recently. Uranium mining is a relatively new area. We need good friends like India to invest in this area,” Tanzania’s Prime Minister Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda told a group of Indian journalists who are visiting this country.

Underlining Tanzania’s special ties with New Delhi, Pinda said India was a “real friend” it turns to for advice when developed countries like the US and Russia show an interest in investing in this crucial area.

“It still has to be seen whether they will buy or process uranium for their own use,” Pinda said, adding that India’s advice in such matters is esteemed a great deal by Tanzania.

Many African countries like Niger and Uganda are said to have large reserves of uranium. India struck a deal for procuring uranium with Namibia two years ago.

“India is a real friend, it gives us a great deal of comfort to work with India,” Pinda said.

“Much as we need investors, we also got to be very careful. You really need good friends who can capacitate us. India, to us, is such a friend. We can trust India,” the 63-year-old Pinda said while alluding to his visit to India two years ago.

India has sealed civil nuclear deals with over half a dozen countries, including the US, France, Russia, Britain, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Namibia.

India is negotiating civil nuclear deals with Japan and South Korea. The Fukushima nuclear reactors’ leaks, triggered by a massive earthquake, have revived a debate about the viability of nuclear power plants, but India has indicated it will continue with its ambitious plans for nuclear power generation.