DAR-ES-SALAAM, TANZANIA: President Museveni and his host, Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan, have agreed on various key strategic projects that officials say will strengthen cooperation in trade and development, including the East African Pipeline Project (EACOP).
The pipeline project will not only see oil flow downstream from the Albertine region and in the future from Kadam to Karamoja, DR Congo and South Sudan, but will also see a flow of gas from the region. coastal Tanzania upstream, towards the interior of the continent.
“I am happy to tell Tanzanians, Ugandans and the world that activities on the pipeline have ended,” President Museveni, who arrived after a long-awaited rain that cooled the hot Tanzanian capital, said at a conference. press at the State House Dar es Salaam. .
President Museveni said the proposal to build the pipelines here for the benefit of the people was dropped following complaints that it would delay the project.
“We have decided to leave it to companies to import pipes from the continent. Billions will be lost but the project will take off, ”Museveni said.
“For example, US $ 52 million will be used for transportation costs each year and up to US $ 272 million will be spent,” he added.
Museveni is on a three-day state visit to Tanzania where he spoke at the Tanzania-Uganda Oil and Gas Symposium in Dar es Salaam.
Organized by private sector actors from both countries, the event attracted the business community and key public sector officials.
Ugandan High Commissioner to Tanzania Richard Kabonero said the event created a unique opportunity for the private sectors of both countries to understand the current oil and gas landscape, explore available business opportunities and define strategies to guarantee the financing of projects.
Stakeholders in Tanzania and Uganda are strategizing on involving the private sectors of both countries in the execution of the 1,443 km pipeline project.
Private sector actors expressed concern about the lack of adequate funding for the project and the lack of qualified human resources to harness the benefits in the petroleum sector.
Stanbic Bank regional managing director Patrick Mweheire said pension funds in developed countries can be tapped to raise capital to support companies interested in the oil sector.
The Permanent Secretary of the Department of Energy, Irene Batebe, said 700 kilometers of roads have been built in the Albertine region to facilitate the oil project.
She said laws have been harmonized between Uganda and Tanzania to allow local content to easily access opportunities in the petroleum sector.
A bill that will enable the development and implementation of the East Africa Pipeline Project (EACOP) will be withdrawn from the Ugandan Parliament by the end of November 2021.
Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa revealed that “the parliamentary committee responsible for the bill has already completed and submitted its report,” paving the way for the tabling and passage of important legislation.
Meanwhile, Museveni and Suluhu have agreed to work closely together on the development of a vaccine as a measure to further combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus and other pandemic diseases.
President Museveni said he was happy that President Suluhu was willing to partner with Uganda to harness the pathogenic economy through joint production of pharmaceuticals.
“There are diseases, but there is also money in these diseases. COVID-19 has woken us all up. We need to create pharmaceutical companies for vaccines and veterinary drugs. We have to tackle the problems of viruses but also of the reagents to be used for vaccines, ”he said.
“There is a huge business in the pathogen world but we have to work on both vaccines and reagents. When we had a breakthrough, I contacted His Excellency and we agreed to cooperate. We started with the AIDS drugs, now we say, if we are sick, why not treat ourselves and get this money for our savings, ”he said.
The president said the veterinary vaccines would help the communities of Byaramuro, Bukoba, etc. that raise livestock and increase milk production.
President Museveni, who was then welcomed to a state banquet at the State House in Dar-es-Salaam, emphasized the issue of markets to support business growth.
“The market is a stimulus for companies. The more you sell, the more you produce. Segmenting African markets is a big mistake. We have to use the markets tool to support businesses, ”he said.
Suluhu said: “Uganda and Tanzania are close. There is Ntungamo where Balozi Kabonero comes from and Ntungamo in Tanzania.
On other joint projects, the Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate the implementation of energy and road transport networks, in particular the ongoing construction of the Omugakorongo – Kigarama Murongo (km 111) / Kikagati – Mbarara – Kampala (km 392) and Masaka – Mutukula (km 89.5) / Mutukula –Kyaka and Bugene – Kasulo – Kumunazi (km 157.6).
President Museveni addressed the Business Forum at the State House Dar es Salaam. He was to visit the port of Dar es Salaam and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) and jointly address the EACOP symposium.
organized by Tanzanian and Ugandan private sector organizations.