ENERGY MINISTER NANKABIRWA HIGHLIGHTS UGANDA’S STRATEGY TO BALANCE OIL PRODUCTION WITH ENVIROMENTAL PROTECTION AT DUBAI MEET

By Our International Correspondents

Uganda ‘s Energy Minister, Hon Ruth Nankabirwa has highlighted Uganda’s Energy strategy which  focuses on having a balance between oil production and safe guarding the environment while also ensuring gender parity in the exploitation of the country’s natural resources .

Hon Nankabirwa said Uganda was scoring highly in empowering women to take up leadership positions in the oil and gas sector . She said that at least over 1,000 women have been employed in the  energy sector which has created an estimated 4,800 jobs. “In Uganda you either walk with the ladies or you are left  alone.  So women are playing a leading role in the in development of Uganda ‘s energy sector ,” she added.

Minister Nankabirwa made the remarks at the EITIC Africa Energy dialogue- at the on going Africa Oil Week in Dubai.

Nankabirwa said that while governments are pushing for a transition to clean energy  , there is need to put in place policies to guide the sustainable development of the oil and gas resources while minimizing emissions to ensure achievement of long-term development goals.

She explained that Uganda’s pursuit for exploration and exploitation of its oil and gas resources is driven by the expected benefits from the sector which include revenue, employment, industrialization and infrastructure development among others.

“ In this regard, the legal framework of the country provides for a robust framework for management of petroleum revenues through the National Oil and Gas Policy, Petroleum Revenue Policy and Public Finance Management Act, 2015. The total sum of the framework is that the petroleum revenues are to be used sustainably to achieve inter-generational equity. In this regard, petroleum revenues are to be used only to finance infrastructure and development projects and not recurrent expenditure of government,” she sated .

Nankabirwa told the participants that Uganda has taken definitive steps to ensure that oil and gas activities are implemented in a manner that minimizes pollution.  She highlighted Uganda’s  petroleum and environment legislation  which prohibit flaring and gas venting.

“ Oil companies cannot flare or vent petroleum more than the quantities needed for normal operational safety. All facilities are required to be planned and constructed to avoid gas venting or flaring under normal operating conditions. This basis underpins our commitment to reduce emissions by our petroleum activities.”

Uganda has made a global climate change commitment through her first Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) which is being updated, in whichUganda committed to a 22% reduction of the national GHG emissions by 2030.

Nankabirwa thanked the Hyve Group for  organizing a successful conference, amidst the COVID- 19 pandemic and the EITI for “shining a light” on the reality of the energy transition with a special focus on Africa.

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