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Tanzania has invited investors from the United Arab Emirates to pump funds into oil and gas exploration in the country

The invitation follows recent natural resources finds along the coastline of Tanzania, which has raised the profile of the region within the global energy industry map.

A statement from the office of Tanzania President Jakaya Kikwete read, "We invite investors to come and work with us in oil and gas exploration.

"We also welcome investments in industries that will add more value by producing gas-related products."

UAE assistant foreign minister for economic affairs, Khaled Ghanem Al-Ghaith, recently led a delegation to Tanzania to meet the president, during which the invitation came in.

Tanzania has already licenced at least 18 international companies to carry out exploration of offshore and onshore energy reserves.

British gas producer BG Group and explorer Ophir Energy announced in May that they had found gas off the coast in Tanzania, which followed an announcement by Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil in February that it had found natural gas offshore.

Brazilian oil company Petrobras, Artumas Group Inc (AGI), France’s Maurel & Prom, Royal Dutch Shell and Aminex also hold exploration licences.

The government signed a US$1 billion loan agreement with China in September to build a 532km gas pipeline from the south of the country to commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

The World Bank has said that it expected gas revenues to generate $2 billion to $3 billion a year for the aid-dependent nation in the coming years.