As Uganda prepares for the oil production stage in 2020, on Tuesday, 46 French business delegates representing more than 30 French companies in the oil and gas sector explored investment opportunities in Uganda. By Alfred Ochwo

 

 

The delegation networked with the Ugandan business community at the residence of Stephanie Rivoal, the French ambassador to Uganda, in Nakasero. She revealed that France is set to become the biggest investor in Uganda due to their involvement in the oil projects.

Thereafter, the delegation attended the oil and gas business forum at Sheraton hotel. At the event, Simon D’Ujanga, the minister of State for energy, said Uganda government’s policy is to encourage private sector investment in the oil and gas industry.

He also observed that since the discovery of oil in 2006, significant investments have been made in the sector, adding that in 2011, Uganda attracted the highest FDI in EAC, especially in Oil and gas and mineral sectors, thanks to its conducive investment climate.

“To date, 6.5 billion barrels of oil have been discovered with 1.4 to 1.7 billion barrels recovery rates, a 500 billion cubic feet of non-associated gas and under 200 billion feet of associated gas, just from 40 per cent of the exploration areas,” he said.

He further noted that Uganda’s oil and gas sector is at a critical stage as it transitions from exploration to production. He revealed that government has so far issued nine production licences and is evaluating three more ahead of the production phase.

Dr Elly Karuhanga, chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP), described the visit of the French firms as historic.

“We have confidence in Total; one of the top oil companies in the world coming from France which is not an oil-producing country. We would like France to help skill our people and help make Uganda’s oil industry a benchmark for the whole of Africa,” he said, adding that French language would be an added opportunity in this endeavor.

He encouraged the French investors to make Ugandans part of their investments, assuring them of political and economic stability.

“Ugandans are aware that capital is a coward; it will run away as fast as possible if threatened by political and economically instability. We will not nationalize your companies”, he reassured.