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'Build strong oil rules, institutions not leaders'Publish Date: Dec 12, 2013
'Build strong oil rules, institutions not leaders'
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By David Mugabe

Oxford scholar Prof. Paul Collier has advised Uganda to establish strong rules and institutions and not rely on only strong leaders to oversee the oil resource and revenue as a way of avoiding the wasting of the oil resource.


Collier has cautioned that oil rich countries like Uganda need much more checks and balances than the other countries that don’t have these resources.

“The checks and balances are eroded by oil because there are pressures to loot and spend which dismantle these checks,”

“Rules and regulations are going to be much more important for Uganda in the future than Uganda of the past,” said Collier, director, International Growth Centre while speaking on the topic of “Development Challenges for Africa” at the Speke Resort Munyonyo on Wednesday.

Collier pointed out the political stability that the country has enjoyed for the past two decades as a  good benchmark to learn from and forge ahead . But this he said can only be strengthened by building strong rules and institutions which if established will afford the country a self-sustaining system and not having to rely on strong leaders.

“So the challenge for the next five years is to build those checks and balances so that when the pressures come, they are robust,” said Collier who was earlier described by Central Bank governor Tumusiime Mutebile as “one of the world’s most thoughtful economists.”.

Collier is in the country as part of the three-day discussions of the Africa Growth forum. The Wednesday evening public lecture at the Speke Resort Munyonyo set the stage for these discussions. But also according to the central bank, the lecture was a first step in allowing the public debate and inform policy discussions away from just inputs from technocrats.

 

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