The Tanzania-Uganda Oil and Gas Symposium which will be convened on November 25, 2021 in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania has been launched today, Tuesday October 26.
The symposium will be organised by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its Uganda High Commission in Tanzania.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Elly Karuhanga, the Chairman of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, said that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will create over 5,000 jobs, adding that it could further create indirect 20,000 jobs for the people.
Karuhanga estimated that during the construction phase of EACOP, Uganda and Tanzania will see an increase of over 60% in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), adding that the investment in the oil and gas projects shall total up to $20 billion, with the EACOP investment alone, at over $3.5 billion.
“The symposium will provide a platform for the private sector to network, understand industry opportunities and challenges, showcase their capacities through experience-sharing, identify key strategies that can enable partnerships and joint ventures between Uganda and Tanzania private sector, and interact with public sector actors on legal and policy matters that govern the industry, in both Uganda and Tanzania,” he said.
Karuhanga added that the Symposium will strengthen business relations between the two countries to flourish their business communities, given the abundant resources they have.
“Very few countries in the world have resources Tanzania has. With the resources we have in Uganda, I don’t think you can lineup countries in the world with this type of resources. But how come our per Capita income is what it is? I think this time, there is a very big awakening. And the time has come to wake up and do something,” he said.
“So, here we have a project, $3.5 billion (EACOP) handed over by our Governments to the Private Sector to implement; and here we are in Uganda looking at ourselves, and in Tanzania looking at yourselves. Why don’t we meet and see how we carry this weight. So, we need to work together to lift this weight from the ground,” he said.
“We have no alternative, but to work together. All we need is the leadership of Private Sector to equal to the leadership of the Government.”
Karuhanga applauded the Government and Parliament of Tanzania for passing the laws that have effected the smooth operations under the law of Tanzania.
“The same thing is happening to Uganda. The leaders of our Governments have signed all the necessary required protocols with the oil and gas companies. Now, the remaining work is for us as Private Sector to implement what the Government had put on the table,” he said.
Karuhanga called on Uganda’s private sector such as; bankers, insurance companies, logistics companies among others to get ready for the Symposium.
The Ugandan High Commissioner to Tanzania, Ambassador Richard Kabonero who attended virtually from Dar-es-Salaam, said the symposium will promote cooperation between the two countries to facilitate business within the oil & gas sector.
Meanwhile, the Tanzanian High Commissioner to Uganda, Dr Aziz Mlima reaffirmed Tanzania’s commitment to ensure that local entrepreneurs from both countries benefit from EACOP project.
The Tanzanian Government, he said, has encouraged the participation of Tanzanians in national, regional and international energy projects.
“In ensuring participation of its nationals in the EACOP project, the Government has already taken various measures, including educating our local communities on opportunities of the project from regional level, district level to the village level as well as organizing various forum meetings on the oil and gas sector in collaboration with the Private Sector in Tanzania, Tanzanian Petroleum Development Cooperation (TPDC) and Association of Oil and Gas in Tanzania,” he said.
Further, he affirmed Tanzanian Government’s readiness to work with Stakeholders to make the oil pipeline project a reality for its local communities, and the private sector.
The private sectors of both countries, he said, should be the drivers of the implementation of the EACOP project, adding that the Government’s role is only to facilitate two private sectors to work in harmony.
“Taking to account that projects of this nature happen once in a lifetime, I call upon our private sectors to take this golden opportunity offered by the joint business forum.”
He noted that the Symposium is a vehicle to allow two private sectors to begin communication and form joint ventures which will be helpful in the implementation of the EACOP project.
“The idea of bringing two private sectors together is so that they can start working and thinking to tap into these opportunities, and to make sure that the project is going on smoothly, and the people in the region are the ones to benefit, especially Tanzania and Uganda.”
The symposium will be held under the theme, “Enhancing Private Sector Participation in the Oil and Gas Sector.”
While presiding over Independence Day celebrations at Kololo Independence Grounds on October 9, President Yoweri Museveni announced that Uganda’s first oil will be pumped out of the ground by 2025.
“First oil to be pumped out of the ground will be achieved by 2025 because all agreements have been signed,” he said.
On April 11, 2021, the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) deal was signed by the stakeholders that include; Uganda, Tanzania, Total E&P and CNOOC, paving way for the development phase for commercial production of oil.
The signing of the multi-billion dollar deal took place at the launch of the Tilenga Development Project at State House Entebbe.
The signing would pave way for the construction of EACOP at a cost 3.5 billion dollars.
Total E&P Uganda Limited is the majority shareholder in the deal with 72% followed by Uganda with 15%, CNOOC comes third with 8% while the Tanzanian Government holds 5%.
All the above are going to have the involvement in the construction of the EACOP.
The 1,445km heated oil pipeline,which is the longest in the world, will begin from Hoima District in Uganda up to the port of Tanga in Tanzania.
The deal will see over 3 billion barrels of oil flowing out of the ground.
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline is a crude oil export infrastructure which will transport Uganda’s crude oil from Kabaale, Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani peninsula near Tanga port in Tanzania for export to the international market.