Zanzibar Extends 1st Licensing Round Deadline-An analysis

Key Points of the Article

  1. Extension of Proposal Deadline:

– The Zanzibar government has extended the deadline for submitting proposals for eight offshore oil and gas blocks until December 16, 2024. This extension provides an additional three months for interested parties to prepare their bids.


  1. Reason for Extension:

– The extension was announced by Minister Shaaban Ali Othman from the Ministry of Blue Economy and Fisheries. The decision came after global promotion campaigns revealed that the original deadline was not favorable for many international oil companies (IOCs).

  1. Licensing Round Schedule:

– The article mentions that there is a new schedule for the licensing round, accessible via a provided link.


  1. Implications for International Oil Companies (IOCs):

– The extension shows that the Zanzibar government is responsive to the needs of potential investors, aiming to create a more favorable and competitive environment. This could increase the likelihood of higher quality and more numerous proposals, enhancing the chances of successful exploration and development.

  1. Strategic Importance:

– Offshore oil and gas exploration is a significant economic opportunity for Zanzibar. By adjusting the timeline, Zanzibar is likely trying to maximize participation from IOCs, which could bring in advanced technology, expertise, and substantial investments.

  1. Market Dynamics:

– The global oil and gas market is currently volatile, with fluctuations in prices and demand. Extending the deadline allows companies to better evaluate market conditions and their own strategic positions before committing to significant investments.

  1. Promotion Campaigns:

– Zanzibar’s proactive promotion campaigns indicate a strategic effort to attract foreign investment. This approach can position Zanzibar as an attractive destination for oil and gas exploration in the competitive East African market.

Broader Context

  1. Regional Competition:

– East Africa is emerging as a new frontier for oil and gas exploration, with countries like Mozambique and Tanzania already discovering significant reserves. Zanzibar’s efforts to attract IOCs can be seen as a move to compete with its neighbors and establish itself as a key player in the region.

  1. Economic Impact:

– Successful licensing and subsequent oil and gas development could have a transformative impact on Zanzibar’s economy, potentially providing revenue streams, creating jobs, and fostering ancillary industries.

  1. Environmental and Social Considerations:

– Oil and gas exploration carries environmental risks and potential social impacts. Zanzibar will need to ensure that exploration and extraction are conducted sustainably and responsibly, balancing economic benefits with environmental protection and social well-being.

Key Updates.

  1. Market Trends:

– Keeping an eye on the latest trends in the global oil and gas market will be crucial for potential bidders. Changes in oil prices, technological advancements, and geopolitical developments can influence the attractiveness of the Zanzibar blocks.

  1. Regulatory Developments:

– Any updates to Zanzibar’s regulatory framework or changes in regional policies affecting oil and gas exploration could impact the licensing process and investor decisions.

  1. Technological Innovations:

– Advances in exploration and extraction technologies can make previously unviable reserves economically feasible. Monitoring these innovations will be important for both the government and potential investors.


Zanzibar’s extension of the proposal deadline for offshore oil and gas blocks demonstrates its commitment to attracting significant international investment and competing in the East African oil and gas sector. This strategic move could enhance the quality and quantity of proposals received, ultimately benefiting Zanzibar’s economy. However, it’s crucial for all stakeholders to consider market conditions, regulatory environments, and technological advancements to make informed decisions.

The announcement included a link to the new licensing round schedule found here.


Hussein Boffu runs a consultancy helping entrepreneurs achieve their goals through business planning and consultancy support. Would you like to reach out to him? Contact him via email at or by calling, texting, or WhatsApp at +255(0)655376543.