Eurobonds are the rage across the continent: Tanzania is looking at a USD 500 million eurobond launch in FY2011-12; and Kenya, Zambia and Angola are also planning. The funds will be much needed as our power crisis gets worse and manifesto commitments to ramp up generation dont go away. And all that gas offshore cant be shipped overseas. Well have to use it ourselves. But, to get a eurobond issue off the ground, Tanzania will need an internationally recognised credit rating from one of the big agencies Standard and Poor or Fitch. Would not recogising an adjudication award from the International Chamber of Commerce help that? The award of USD 65 million to Dowans against electricity utility TANESCO for breach of contract may stick in the throat, but was perhaps the inevitable consequence of how resources are often allocated here. Nigeria saw its USD 500 million eurobond issue successfully taken up, indeed 2.5 times oversubscribed. Previous issues have come from Ghana and Côte dIvoire.This may be good news for Tanzania, which is apparently planning a eurobond issues for FY 2011-12 for the same amount half a billion dollars. If Nigeria can do it with oil revenues disappearing, why cant everybody else? Happily, Nigerias auction wasnt put off by Laurent Gbagbos refusal to pay an interest payment due on December 31st 2010 unless bond holders recognise Gbagbo as the legitimate president. If payment isnt made by January 30, Côte dIvoire will be in default. So we cant accuse investors of seeing Africa as a country. In Tanzanias favour? The planned issue of USD 500 million is relatively small Cote dIvoires was for USD 2.3 billion. The peace and stability brand still counts for something and any post election hiccups we are experiencing wont frighten the horses. Either way, is it likely that Tanzania would get a credit rating better than Nigerias B speculative, with some medium term risks. Probably not, but increasing interest in oil and gas and largely unmet demand for power would probably still make it a worthwhile punt in the eyes of many.But given the centrality of likelihood to default to credit ratings, the Dowans case may have implications that we havent considered before.