President Yoweri Museveni has asked the European Parliament to stay away from Uganda’s oil industry and learn to be tolerant of other people.
This comes as the debate of the EU Parliament resolution that called for the halting of the Uganda crude export pipeline earlier this month continues. The legislators allege a violation of human rights and destruction of the ecosystem along the East African Oil Pipeline project and say construction should be suspended for at least one year to find an alternative route.
However, experts say that considering the money that has already been invested by the governments of Uganda and Tanzania and the oil companies, it is not viable to halt the project. The government has also asked those opposed to the project to contact the government directly for more information on the project.
President Museveni told the Uganda Oil and Gas Conference in Kampala that there is no plan to halt the developments of any of the projects, urging the EU MPs not to start a battle. He said it was not prudent to decampaign the pipeline which will not only transport crude to export markets but also move gas from either Mozambique or Tanzania to Uganda and other countries.
Gas, he said would help Uganda’s movement towards green energy. Museveni also said he was in support of the green movement to prevent further deterioration of the environment, but that the West must do more on climate change because they have done more damage to the environment.
The government also revealed that it is due to launch the third round of licensing next year, targeting exploration areas this time in the East of the country, according to the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Irene Batebe.
Batebe also added that all the projects were being carried out in compliance with globally accepted standards on human rights and the environment.
On the transition from fossil to cleaner energy, Minister Ruth Nankabirwa affirmed Uganda government’s commitment to go green but said the country needed to attain a certain level of development before abandoning some forms of production.
She asked the global community to be patient with Uganda and Africa because the countries cannot move at the same pace as the industrialised world.