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East African Community gears up for Petroleum conference

By Ronald Musoke

A high level oil and gas conference is scheduled to take place in Arusha early next month according to information from the East African Community Secretariat.

The conference will be the sixth since the region’s oil and gas profile gained international approval.

Caleb Nyamajeje Weggoro, the East African director for productive sectors confirmed that all is set for the sixth East African Petroleum Conference and Exhibition in Arusha, Tanzania.

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is expected to grace the official opening of the conference which will run from Feb.6-8 at the Arusha International Conference Centre.

The Conference is themed ‘East Africa Region-The Emerging Destination for Investment and Future Supply of Oil and Gas for Sustainable Development.’

The high-level investment conference is expected to be closed by President Ali Mohamed Shein of the semi-autonomous government of Zanzibar.

Over the last decade, oil and gas prospects in the East African region have grown in leaps and bounds, with Uganda announcing that over 2.5 billion barrels of oil is under its ground ready for exploitation while companies currently prospecting for oil in Kenya say results so far show  promise of a viable oil production.

On the other hand, Tanzania has discovered over 20 trillion cubic feet along its Indian Ocean coastline. It is such discoveries and prospects that have attracted key players in the global petroleum industry to the region in the last couple of years.

Experts have urged the East African countries to go for joint investment projects if they are to benefit from their newly discovered petroleum resources.

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