Baz Waiswa

Baz Waiswa

Minister Blames First Oil Delays On Poverty

The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija has blamed Uganda's delay to have first oil on poverty, explaining that country has failed to raise the money required to start producing its oil and gas.

“Ladies and gentlemen, poverty is terrible. Poverty is bad. If we were not poor, we would have had our oil out of the ground 3 or 4 years ago. Now we don’t know when we shall have it (out),” Minister Kasaija said.

Kasaija made the remarks while addressing guests that had gathered at Kampala Serena Hotel during the Economic Summit organized by NTV.

Uganda expected to commence oil production next year but delays to finalize with FEDD studies, delayed infrastructure development and back and forth negotiations between government and oil companies has ensured that the country's oil remains underground.

African Gold Refinery Calls For Gold Smuggling End

Gold smugglers from Uganda continue to take advantage of weak checking systems and smuggle gold through airlines out of Uganda. 

Mr. Alain Goetz, Managing Director African Gold Refinery said there is a chronic issue of gold trafficked as hand luggage on  commercial  airlines which needs to be stopped. Mr. Goetz while speaking as a guest speaker during the Mineral Wealth Conference said smuggling gold out of Uganda will stifle the value addition process of gold. He added that the smuggling denies Uganda large amounts of revenues and royalties. 

“AGR is in the business of adding value to the precious minerals and testing soil samples for precious mineral occurrences. AGR focus is on high responsible sourcing of gold, extensive KYC Know Your Customer and due diligence programs,” Mr. Goetz said 

He urged NGOs should not kill the development of Uganda’s gold and mining industry through false reports. He said host country governments are the main stakeholders to promote good mining practices. 

He called for accreditation initiatives for gold refineries. “These are initiatives that certify gold and silver refinery regulated by the government entities,” he said. 

Mr. Alaba Kuterema, Commissioner Mines Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines-Future of ASM and development minerals in Uganda said the mining sector players are faced with many challenges that can be addressed. Kuterema said Uganda’s mining sector is so far dominated by artisanal and small scale miners. 

The sector she said faces challenges which include; inadequate legal, regulatory and institutional framework to govern ASM, poor access to geological information, conflict between ASM and medium and large scale miners. 

Others are use of poor technologies that compound lack of compliance to Safety, Health and Environmental Standards, Limited access to business growth capital that increases child labour, gender inequity and harmful mining practices. 

The activities of ASM create land and natural resource degradation, high occupational Health and Safety Risks, non – compliance to Environmental standards that compromise sustainable mining standards, gender inequalities, income disparities between men and women ; poor technologies that exclude women from certain mining activities. 

She said to overcome these challenges appropriate licensing regime for ASMs  is required including the development minerals, strengthen linkages with Local Government for close monitoring, map and designate specific sites for ASMs, provide for progressive development of ASM, encourage local content and participation. 

She noted that creating and finding alternative economic activity for ASM players is key alongside mining. She noted uncontrolled mining by ASM makes them a major environmental risk. She added that formalization and regulation is key in ensuring sustainable development is a critical need. 

Mr. Johann Kisekulo, Development and Implementation of an Electronic Traceability system for ASM Gold Mining & Trade in Kampene, Maniema Province DR Congo said the DRC Ministry of Mines has been focused on strengthening of transparency and control in the raw materials sector in Eastern DRC 

BGR, a German institution and DRC, ministry of Mines introduced and implemented the Certified Trading Chains (CTC) for mineral conflict materials 3TG (Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten + Gold) 

The CTC ensures legal trade, certified production, and social environmental standards’ protection during mining, extraction and processing of the minerals. 

The goal is to improve ASM trade and supply chains to reduce conflict financing in the Great lakes Region due to illegal supply and smuggling of 3TG minerals.  It seeks to reduce lost revenue in the form of taxes and royalties to Government; lost revenue is a great hindrance to Infrastructure development in the region. CTC helps to meet compliance with the OECD guidelines so as to improve product value, confidence by International buyers. 

At Kampene, DRC, a gold pilot study was conducted. Out of 10 gold co-operatives in the area four were selected for the study. 

IBES AG developed the GOTS TM platform to provide electronic traceability system for all ASM. GOTS TM provides a low – conform tech platform and audit / certification framework that implements secure trade documents and proof of origin system for the precious / mineral supply chain. 

Identity cards with chips have been developed for dealers in the sector. Mobile phones, tablets and computers with installed software that identifies persons and bags are used in the traceability system making it easy for ASM players. 

GOTS Mineral Trace TM platform can be adopted and customized for any country in the Great Lakes Region. The platform can be extended to cover development minerals sector (sand, stone gravel etc.). The benefits to governments are improved revenue collection tax and royalties. He said this system can be developed in any country and can cover any mineral.

  • Published in Mining
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Angola To Promote New Petroleum Investment At Conference

The 2019 Angola Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, to be held in Luanda from June 3 to 7, 2019, is officially endorsed by the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of Angola and organized by Africa Oil & Power.

Angola Oil & Gas 2019 supports the government's goal to bring greater investments to Angolan oil fields and highlight the recent reforms made by President João Lourenço that will significantly boost Angola's competitiveness.

The conference will be a platform for the government to disclose new opportunities for the oil industry in Angola, including the licensing of new petroleum blocks, new legislation for gas exploration and investment, exploration of marginal oil fields, onshore exploration and investments in all areas of the petroleum supply chain.

A resurgent Angola with a new political mandate and investment priorities will be the focal point of the Angola Oil & Gas 2019 Conference and Exhibition to be held from June 3-7, 2019 in Luanda.

Angola Oil & Gas 2019 will be the main event of the national oil industry for this revitalized sector, addressing the new investment climate under the leadership of President João Lourenço, the role of a new national oil and gas agency in the development of the sector, and the issuance of new licenses for exploration and production companies.

The Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum is working in partnership with organizer Africa Oil & Power (www.AfricaOilandPower.com) to produce the country's largest investment conference in years. 

"Angola has been one of the world's leading producers of oil and gas, and under the new administration of President João Lourenço, we are focused on revitalizing and increasing our potential exponentially. We intend with this conference to maximize the value created for the Angolan economy by bringing investors who can increase the competitiveness in the oil market and use the Angolan oil industry as the main catalyst for boosting the economy in general," said the Minister of Mineral Resources and Petroleum of the country, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo.

"The sector has seen several changes, including a sustained drop in oil prices. Thanks to the reforms, Angola is stronger and better positioned in the current investment climate. We look forward to using Angola Oil & Gas 2019 as a platform to capitalize on new business and spark new interest in the industry as projects move forward."

Angola Oil & Gas 2019 will be the ultimate venue for the presentation of oil and gas projects, ongoing exploration activity, mergers and acquisitions and the presentation of companies operating in Africa's second largest oil producer, with 1.5 million barrels per day.

The conference will be the definitive platform for the government to disclose details about the 2019 oil and gas licensing round and to unveil new legislation for gas exploration and investment in marginal oil fields. Also a focal point of the program will be the creation of a new National Agency for Petroleum and Gas, which in 2019 will assume oil and gas licensing responsibilities.

The event will gather key governmental officials and C-level executives spanning the spectrum of the energy industry for a packed agenda of keynote presentations, moderated panel discussions, an exhibition, and networking gatherings. Angola Oil & Gas will put a premium on deal making and relationship brokering as Angola aims to attract investment in all segments of the petroleum industry. African ministers of petroleum will attend the event, as well as international investors and decision-makers.

"This is the time for global oil and gas investors, and Africa-focused companies, to take a fresh look at Angola," said Africa Oil & Power CEO Guillaume Doane. "The petroleum industry is set to benefit from the impetus provided by a new political administration and favorable oil prices, as well as the increasing influence of local companies. Angola Oil & Gas 2019 will be the catalyst for economic activity and investment in Angola, a platform to showcase the country's enormous potential, explain the projects and meet the key actors."

A comprehensive report on the Angolan energy sector entitled Africa Energy Series Angola 2019 will also be produced in tandem with the conference. The book will be an official investment tool for the Angolan oil and gas industry and will feature interviews and resources on Angola's most pressing energy issues and opportunities, including the acquisition of new licenses and new exploration of the offshore basins, strategies for reversing oil production declines, the potential for onshore oil and gas exploration, the emerging role of LNG, building a strong domestic sector and diversifying the economy through downstream efforts.

  • Published in Africa
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COSASE INQUIRY: Bagyenda, BoU Ex-directors To Appear Before Committee

The former Bank of Uganda Director for Supervision, Justine Bagyenda and together with Ms Margaret Matovu and Apollo Obbo, two other former directors will today face the Parliamentary Committee of Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) investigating the controversial closure of seven banks.

The trio according to sources will appear to clear the air about liquidation reports on closed banks running into billions of shillings. On Tuesday, Benedict Ssekabira, another BoU Director facing the spotlight told MPs that he submitted liquidation reports to Bagyenda and the two other directors when he handled the liquidation of three banks.

The liquidation reports detail how assets of International Credit Bank, Greenland Bank and Co-Operative worth over Shs 100b were disposed of. Evidence has since been brought before the MPs indicating that BoU officials wrote off Crane Bank Ltd loans amounting to Shs600b through unclear circumstances.

The MPs inquiry is also focusing on the mismanagement of closed banks by BoU after the Auditor General Mr John Muwanga issued a stinging criticism of the central bank in a special audit that cited massive flaws in the closure of Teefe Bank (1993), International Credit Bank Ltd (1998), Greenland Bank (1999), The Co-operative Bank (1999), National Bank of Commerce (2012), Global Trust Bank (2014) and the sale of Crane Bank Ltd (CBL) to dfcu (2016).

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