EACOP project will spur socio-economic growth, end energy challenges- Amb Amoru

Johannesburg – Uganda’s High Commissioner to South Africa Paul Amoru has said the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project will provide a solution to the energy poverty while driving socioeconomic growth through the empowerment of local communities.

He was making a presentation at the “Connecting Africa” summit held in Johannesburg on Friday under the theme ‘The Future Africa Wants’.

Amb Amoru highlighted that during the construction phase alone, the pipeline is expected to create thousands of high-paying jobs and significant opportunities for local companies such as contractors.

“What’s more, Tanzania and Uganda are expected to see a 60% increase in foreign direct investment, with more capital expected to flow throughout the project’s subsequent stages of development. The long-term employment, guaranteed energy security and broader economic benefits brought about from the construction emphasise its importance for driving development in Africa,” Said Amb Amoru.

Jointly planned by Uganda and Tanzania, the 1.443 Km pipeline project will transport crude oil from Uganda’s Lake Albert oil fields in Hoima to Port Tanga in Tanzania where the oil will be sold onwards to the world market.

The majority shareholder of the proposed project is Total Energies from France. However, on Thursday last week the European Union Parliament passed a resolution that seeks to defer the development of the US$ 3 billion pipeline for one year to consider another route with the least environmental damage.

Amb Amoru informed the conference about the ongoing debates within Uganda and beyond on the implications of the non-binding EU resolution on Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector.

He said President Museveni recently stated that Uganda would find an alternative investor to work with if Total Energies succumbs to pressure from the EU Parliament.

The Ambassador also highlighted other key development plans as indicated in Uganda’s Integrated Transport Infrastructure and Services under NDP lll.

“Currently, Uganda mainly relies on the Northern Corridor as its major trade route. This corridor links East African Economic Centres to the world through the Port of Mombasa in Kenya. There is therefore a need to reduce reliance on the Northern Corridor by developing other corridors.” He said

Amb Amoru mentioned that to resolve this, government is considering development of Bukasa Inland Port on Lake Victoria and the Infrastructure Mahathi Project which serves to transport fuel from Kisumu in Kenya through Lake Victoria to Entebbe in Uganda.

He also said Uganda has invested in appropriate transport infrastructure connecting regional neighbours that are also land-linked in a bid to promote trade.

This includes a USD 330million Regional Connectivity Roads Project in DR Congo launched by Uganda and DRC, plans to build a new road from Uganda through northern Tanzania as well as plans for the multinational Kampala – Juba – Addis Ababa- Djibouti Corridor Project funded by Africa Development Bank.

He further noted the progress in the development of the Standard Gauge Railway and the Kabaale International Airport, Uganda’s 2nd International Airport.

Meanwhile, Amb Amoru invited African countries to explore Uganda’s investment opportunities capable of creating wealth and prosperity for the continent.

He highlighted some of the sectors for possible partnerships as commercial agriculture, agro-processing, tourism, information communication technology, mining and mineral processing, infrastructure development, manufacturing, real estate and oil and gas among others.

Organized by Transnet, in partnership with Africa Development Bank, the conference facilitated joint discussions with 15 representative countries from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), West and East Africa.

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