The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) will host its two days annual oil and gas convention on 25th and 26th April at Serena Hotel Kampala under the theme ‘Regional Collaboration for First oil 2020’. The meeting will largely discuss how Uganda can position itself as the regional oil and gas hub.
This year’s theme, Elly Karuhanga, the chairperson UCMP, speaking at a press conference held at Serena Hotel Kampala to announce the Convention, said helps accommodate interests of regional neighbors like South Sudan, DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi who are also trotting the oil and gas development and production road.
Karuhanga acknowledged that neighboring Tanzania is going to allow Uganda’s crude export pipeline (EACOP) to go through their country and allow Kampala export its oil to the rest of the world while the people of Kenya are going to see logistics – trucks, almost over 2000 – on the roads, on a daily basis, coming to develop Uganda’s oil.
“So we need to be on great terms with our neighbors. The people of DR Congo are likely to use the same pipeline. We have our friends in South Sudan, the people of Rwanda with their gas, Burundi with potential of oil – this makes Uganda a very strategic hub for oil development,” Karuhanga told journalists at the press conference.
“We are expecting participation from these countries. We will be looking at our partners, Total, Tullow and CNOOC to invite other stakeholders to come and play a part in the development of our oil.”
Ahlem Friga-Noy, the Corporate Affairs Manager at Total E$P Uganda, speaking on behalf of the Joint Venture companies said Uganda’s oil development is at a crucial point and continue to attract attention from businesses who want to come and invest in the country’s nascent sector.
“We have made tremendous progress. I think that is a great thing to say because sometimes you hear perceptions that things are not moving well but I can tell you that things are moving and they are moving fast.
“Increasingly and on a daily basis, companies are coming looking for business opportunities. We believe that this is a very good sign of the dynamism of the sector and confidence businesses are putting into the project and into the economic environment in the country,” Friga-Noy said.
Sam Thakkar, the General Secretary UCMP, said the convention present a lot of experiences from Africa from which Uganda and East Africa can learn from. “We know the case studies of Ghana, Nigeria and Angola. We have got a lot of knowledge from them in regards to what should and shouldn’t happen. We are pushed to ensure that as Ugandans we are heavily involved.”