Chen Hualin, Dar es Salaam at a bird's view, CC BY-SA 3.0

Background and Challenges

Recently, multinational energy companies discovered large oil and gas deposits off the coast of Tanzania. Recognizing the significance of the deposits for its economic future, Tanzania has begun negotiating production-sharing contracts. With limited experience and a small cadre of qualified senior staff in key agencies, the Tanzanian government has faced serious challenges in negotiating with the multinationals’ sophisticated legal and technical teams. Through the UONGOZI Institute, a national leadership development center, the government requested that CBI provide a highly-tailored, intensive training program on negotiating major oil, gas, and infrastructure contracts, designed for senior staff from key ministries.

The CBI Approach

CBI began by assessing the current capacities and needs of relevant government staff. In partnership with a highly-experienced attorney who had worked with both government and corporate clients in Africa, CBI then developed a multi-stage curriculum. The curriculum built from a foundational training on Mutual Gains Negotiation to advanced training on negotiating oil and gas production-sharing contracts, as well as complex infrastructure agreements. In each training module, participants practiced preparing for and conducting negotiations using realistic simulations, then applied negotiation strategies and tools to prepare for upcoming negotiations. Building participants’ capacity to team across ministries, to ensure coherence in government negotiating mandates and team leadership, was a critical component of the training.


CBI delivered the series of trainings as an eight-day program for an initial group of 25 senior staff, as well as a one-day executive session for Permanent Secretaries from 20 key ministries and agencies. According to the participants, the trainings were highly effective in raising their knowledge and skills. They were also critically important as a catalyst for rethinking the inter-ministerial process used to prepare for and conduct major contract negotiations. After revising the trainings to integrate feedback from participants, CBI transferred the full set of materials and an extensive set of facilitation guides to the UONGOZI Institute. The institute now holds training sessions for government negotiating teams as they prepare for contract negotiations, reinforcing and expanding the government’s institutionalized knowledge and skills.