This report highlights the policy and advocacy hits and misses in Uganda’s oil, gas and mining (extractive) sector. The primary sources of information are documentary: reports by local and international civil society organisations (CSOs), journals, published research documents, media articles, academic documents. Secondary sources include interviews with media trainers, CSO actors, government officials, private sector players, academics. The aim is to establish the achievements (hits) and challenges (misses) around advocacy and policy in Uganda’s extractive sector. The report briefly digs into the history of Uganda’s extractives before getting into the policy and advocacy achievements and challenges over the past 10 years.
Oil and gas (petroleum) became more prominent after the 2006 discovery of commercial quantities of oil. Minerals on the other hand have been prominent since the 1950s when Uganda was one of the notable global producers of copper from the Kilembe Mines in Kasese District. However, oil and gas attract more attention due to the potential impact to transform the country quickly. As at December 2021, Uganda had an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil of which 1.4 billion barrels can be extracted for sale as crude oil and/or refined into products such as petrol. Uganda projects to start producing oil in 2025. On 1 February 2022, TotalEnergies, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) announced that they had reached the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the pre-production phase of Uganda’s oil and the construction of the 1,445-kilometre East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) from Hoima in Uganda to the seaport of Tanga in Tanzania.
According to estimates, the pre-production phase that involves construction activity will attract up-to $10 billion, an opportunity for the private sector. Uganda’s mineral potential is yet to be fully determined but there is active large-scale limestone mining in north-eastern Uganda and western Uganda. The Kilembe Copper Mines, once one of Uganda’s flagship projects, is inactive since closure in 1977. On the policy front, oil and gas is governed by, The Petroleum (Exploration, Development and Production) Act, 2013; The Petroleum (Refining, Conversion, Transmission and Midstream Storage) Act, 2013; and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015 (as amended in 2021). Mining is governed by the Mining Act, 2003, although a new law was passed in February 2022 — it is yet to be signed by the president.
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