EU applauds Uganda on oil management

By Vicky Wandawa

Uganda's decision to join EITI is a positive step towards improved public financial management and accountability of natural resources - EU

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KAMPALA - The EU has applauded Uganda’s cabinet for taking the decision to formally join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) as a member state.

The decision, made on January 28, was publicly announced the following day by government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo. He noted that the decision was intended to enhance the revenue collection process, boost finances and minimize mismanagement of oil and gas revenue.

According to a press release from the EU delegation in Uganda, the decision is a very positive step towards improved public financial management and accountability of natural resources.

"The EITI is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources, and Uganda's decision to become a fully-fledged member state is an important step for improved accountability particularly as the country continues to prepare for oil production," said EU Ambassador Attilio Pacifici.

Through persistent policy dialogue, the European Union and its Members States, as well as other leading development partners, have encouraged Uganda's formal accession to the EITI to address key governance issues of the oil, gas and mining sectors, including transparency and accountability.

However, it is not yet clear when government will put in its request to join the initiative.

Implementation of the EITI standard only takes place in EITI countries and happens in three steps; a national multi-stakeholder group (government, companies and civil society) decides how the EITI process in their country should work; key information about the governance of the sector is reported annually alongside recommendations for improving sector governance and finally, this information is widely disseminated to form public debate and recommendations are followed up. The countries also publish key information in excel files, allowing the information to be shared, compared and analyzed.

Uganda has crude oil reserves amounting to 6.5 billion barrels.