Africa Connected

The East African Rift System could still turn out to be Uganda's spring of life

You can't raise the issue of Uganda's economic prospects without raising the issue of national resources, and more specifically, the long-time promise of prosperity from oil.

Efforts to find oil in Uganda started as far back as the 1920s. These initial efforts were not successful in establishing commercial deposits of petroleum in the country. Renewed and consistent exploration efforts commenced in the 1980s which culminated into confirmation of commerciality of the petroleum in 2006.

Shortly thereafter the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum was established. It is a not-for-profit, non-governmental umbrella body representing all aspects of the mining and petroleum sectors in Uganda.

This discovery has brought a lot of excitement. We expect employment, national participation by Ugandans. We expect capital injection.

Gerald Mukyenga, advisor to the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Board

And considering the relatively young mean average age of the Ugandan population, the focus on oil as an important contributor to GDP, is only going to increase.

Expansion of operations will require exploration of the East African Rift System - on the Western border of Uganda - shared with the Democratic Republic of Congo. But unlike many other neighbours, Uganda is determined not to become victim to the "resource curse". Mukyenga points out that the Ugandan Government has ringfenced many sectors - defining local content policies, putting protectionist laws in place and educating people on how they can participate.

All of those are geared towards to ensure the proper management of this resource for all Ugandans.

Gerald Mukyenga, advisor to the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Board

Every Ugandan, directly or indirectly, will be benefitting - and therefore there will be no need to scramble or fight.

Gerald Mukyenga, advisor to the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum Board

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