Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the region will this week on Thursday and Friday at the East African SME Oil & Gas Conference get a glimpse of what opportunities waits for them in Uganda’s petroleum sector. The venue is Kampala Serena Hotel and via virtue platforms.
The conference being convened under the theme exploring opportunities for SMEs in the Oil and Gas sector is being organized by Stanbic Uganda Holdings in partnership with Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), CNOOC, and the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).
It will bring together key stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to interface with SMEs and explore opportunities in farming, catering services, camp management services, logistics & transportation, security, waste management and so much more.
Eva Mpalampa, the Sector Head Oil and Gas at Stanbic Bank, noted that the oil and gas sector will drive economic development in Uganda and that SMEs need help to be able to tap into that growth ‘because with that growth comes a number of opportunities’ including creation of jobs.
The conference, Mpalampa said, aims to equip SMEs with knowledge on business readiness and how to navigate challenges associated with supplying services in the Oil and Gas Industry and share success stories from businesses across the region.
Tony Otoa, the Chief Executive, Stanbic Business Incubator, explained that together with partners they are paving a way to support SMEs.
He said: “We want to see more money retained in the country. We want to talk about opportunities beyond Uganda, opportunities in the different projects and the biggest challenge to most Ugandans: access to finance. This is why the conference is important.”
Gloria Sebikari, the Manager, Corporate Affairs at PAU, said that as a regulator, one of its key objectives as to enhance participation of Ugandans and Ugandan enterprises in the oil and gas sector.
This conference therefore directly speaks to this objective, she noted.
“It is, therefore, important for all enterprises across Uganda and in the region to attend this national content conference because during the conference, we will share the status of the oil and gas projects and the opportunities available,” she explained.
Uganda with an estimated oil resource of 6.5 billion barrels is expected to attract an investment cache of between $ 15bn—20bn during the development phase. If well-prepared, local SMEs through the national content model can eat much into that money.
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