Healthy public debate, building consensus, winning trust will determine if oil is a blessing or a curse
As the year came to a close, the acrimonious debate over Uganda’s nascent oil industry did not appear to show any sign of abetting. President Yoweri Museveni’s tongue lashing against some MPs, NGOs, and “some agents of foreign interests” whom he accused of trying to derail the oil production programme in the country, capped a tumultuous and eventful year for the oil sector.
Undoubtedly, the rancor particularly between civil society organizations and Parliament on one hand and President Museveni and the executive on the other, is expected to be extended into the New Year. The one unfortunate failing in the whole oil debate over the year was that of each side taking extreme positions at the expense of building consensus.