• No_Ads
Uganda’s oil can be a blessing not a curse if only...Publish Date: Dec 30, 2013
  • mail
  • img

By Douglas Lukoba Iga

The continental and global happenings such as the South Sudan conflict has swayed peoples thinking and debate on oil production. The Pearl of Africa has so many interesting mineral resources, clean water bodies, good climate and among others rare species of plants and animals.
So many debates arose on the issue of oil and gas deals and agreements that the Government of Uganda made with the oil companies and whether these deals would be of any benefit to the ordinary Ugandans once the oil production kicks off.
However, such debates have now ceased as new political debates allover the country have come up and several issues have deterred many from addressing this issue that, if not made clear to all Ugandans today, shall be a mere curse as it is for countries like Nigeria in the Niger Delta where oil production started as early as the 1960s but its people still suffer in abject poverty with no good schools, roads, the once good water bodies are now all polluted just because no good environment impact assessment strategy was followed and if it was, the devil endangering African governments called “corruption” has swept them all. 
Once Nigeria started oil production in the 1960s, its people thought infrastructural development and an end to poverty was achieved and to their disappointment, the figures that the government negotiators indicated were far different from those the government had agreed upon with the oil companies due to corruption.
Other countries that fell prey to these occurrences have been Sudan, Angola, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon all on the African continent.
The only country that has benefited from its mineral exploitation has been Botswana. It is one of the world’s best diamond producing countries and with its good policies and well streamlined governance were the government is open and answerable to the people, the once one of the poorest countries far beyond Uganda in Africa has developed to become one of Africa’s best and glorious economies.
All these it has achieved through fighting corruption and not protecting corrupt officials in government because of their political leanings and have also stood accountable to the people they lead which has boomed infrastructural development, employment creation among other positive achievements.
Uganda should learn from the two examples by evaluating their weaknesses and then draw its programmes to the developments of a mineral blessing like the one Botswana has. This can only be done if the government is answerable and accountable to its people.
Elimination of corruption in oil production requires the involvement of all Ugandans in oil decision making and there has to be transparency in all oil agreements.

The writer is a lawyer with Advocates for Public International Law Uganda -APILU

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Uganda needs laws on data protection
Literary data refers to facts and statistics collected together for reference or analysis. However, in light of Computer Misuse Act 2011, Data entails electronic representations of information in any form....
National ID success hinged much on people as on technology
Just a few days into the roll out of the massive National ID registration exercise, the Government agencies responsible are already grappling with poor turn up by the masses, largely due to the long queues at the registration centres in urban centres where it takes an average of 45 minutes to regis...
Global warming’s upside-down narrative
When politicians around the world tell the story of global warming, they cast it as humanity’s greatest challenge. But they also promise that it is a challenge that they can meet at low cost, while improving the world in countless other ways. We now know that is nonsense....
The high-tech, high-touch economy
In many countries, the majority of that wealth – and the lion’s share of the increase – is accounted for by housing and commercial real estate, and most of that wealth resides not in the value of the buildings, but in the value of the urban land on which it sits....
Fair trade partnership will end foreign aid
THE EU has traditionally been Africa's biggest trading partner and is by far its largest donor. However, its influence is increasingly being challenged by China, now a major investor and donor in Africa...
Sensitize people on the importance of national ID cards
IDs also enable us to avoid the wastage of taxpayers’ money in that instead of waiting for 2016 and start the process of registration for elections, the voters would just easily present their Identity cards...
WIll the national ID registration process be completed in the scheduled 4 months timeframe?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter