Uganda Turns To Algeria To Fix Oil Refinery Gamble

President Yoweri Museveni, together with officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) led by Dr Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister, witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and Sonatrach, the State Oil Company of Algeria.

Eng Dr Michael Mugerwa, the General Manager of Uganda Refinery Holding Company, signed the MoU on behalf of Uganda while Sonatrach Chairman & CEO, Toufik Hakkar signed for Algeria.

UNOC said the MoU covers oil and gas cooperation in the Upstream, Midstream (refining and petrochemicals), Downstream, capacity building, and Oil & Gas Services.

The signing ceremony was held at the El Mouradia Presidential Palace in Algiers on Sunday, 12th March 2023 as one of the many engagements Museveni had in Algeria during a three-day state visit.

Museveni said they looking at Algeria investing in our refinery. “We want to build an inland refinery. It is absolutely necessary because it will cut transport costs seeing that we are far away from the coast,” he said in a brief update conveyed on Twitter.

Uganda has struggled to secure funding for her much-preferred oil refinery set for construction in the Albertine Graben region where some estimated 6.5 billion barrels of crude oil were discovered in 2006.

Negotiations with South Korean, Russian and American investors in the past haven’t yielded anything concrete; therefore, the country remains in constant search of a developer to take on the financing of the refinery.  


Oil & Gas Sector Spurring Demand For Goats In Bunyoro

Statistics indicate that currently Uganda has 14.1 Million goats and World over their Population stands at 1.4 billion goats.

In order the country to satisfy the local and international, the country need to produce 40 Million goats per year.

Dr. Jean Simon Onyaiti, the Academic Consultant from Bishop Stuart University, explains that quarter wanted a sample of 10,000 goats per month but the country couldn’t meet the demand.

According to Dr. Onyaiti, the demand is high but they cannot meet that requirement. He has called on government to invest more in goats especially on government farms.

Dr. Sylvester Baguma, the Director Bulindi Zonal Agriculture Research Institute (BUZARDI), says in Bunyoro Sub-Region they have about 800,000 goats. The ratio, he said, is still bad.

Dr. Charles Kajura, the Hoima District Production and Marketing Officer, explains that they expect the demand to increase more once the oil production begins and Hoima International Airport starts operation next year.

Dr. Hanington Byarugaba, a goat farmer and the owner of City Farm, has advised fellow farmers to get actively in goat rearing.

Other famers say that they have benefited a lot from the business and goats are easy to manage.

Stanbic Bank, UNOC Sign National Content Partnership

Stanbic Bank Uganda through its Business Incubator has entered into a partnership with the Uganda National Oil Company to promote national content through the capacity building through offering business training for entrepreneurs, knowledge/sector information sharing and enterprise development.

Stanbic Bank’s Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire speaking during the MoU signing ceremony said they are pleased to be partnering with UNOC in this critical initiative that aims to facilitate participation and development of national content in the oil and gas sector.

“Oil is a game-changer in many economies and the only way we can benefit as Ugandans is if we have as many local companies participating as possible,” he said in a press release shared.

“As a way of ensuring Ugandan companies participate in the Oil and Gas activities, we established the Business Incubator with the aim to reach as many SME’s as possible and continue to support their growth and development across the nation.

The incubator trains and provides them with soft and hard skills necessary to improve their business operations and compete more effectively in the market place. It also deliberately prepares them to leverage the upcoming opportunities in Uganda’s emerging Oil and Gas sector,” he said.

Adding, “We are grateful for this partnership as through which the two entities will jointly develop and implement a series of initiatives on National Content through the Stanbic Business Incubator Centre and also cooperate in the development of National Content programmes.”

Proscovia Nabbanja, Uganda National Oil Company Chief Executive Officer, said partnerships with institutions like Stanbic are instrumental in promoting national content through providing the necessary training and information on the opportunities for local businesses in the oil and gas sector.

“UNOC will provide subject matter experts to support the development of businesses on the Enterprise Development programme and also provide support to the Stanbic Business Incubator Centre’s training and research activities in Enterprise Development.

It is important that local companies are kept abreast of the developments in such a dynamic industry to help them develop business models that are adaptable. This is fundamental if they are to remain relevant in such a competitive market place” she said.

Stanbic Head of Business Development, Tony Otoa while commenting on the partnership said, “Stanbic Business incubator will provide training to SMEs recommended by UNOC to the Stanbic Business Incubator Centre, and also avail its centres across the country for use by UNOC in its National Content programme.”

The two entities will also provide technical support in form of facilitators to help train the businesses to make them ready to partake in the oil and gas sector activities.

Subscribe to this RSS feed