Equatorial Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has cautioned Uganda to be careful when negotiating oil and gas deals. He said that whereas oil is a good blessing to nations that discover it, there are times it becomes a curse to the countries.
“Oil can be linked to honey. Honey attracts many bees but some of those bees are the bad ones. Uganda needs to be vigilant to sieve the bad from the good,” Obiang warned.
He was this morning addressing the joint oil and gas convention and regional expo at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
President Obiang revealed that during his country’s quest for oil, a number of oil and gas companies visited Equatorial Guinea with hidden agendas to the extent that they were not willing to share their findings with his government.
“We were told that we had no oil. Oil or petroleum is a very conflicting product in many places and times,” he emphasized.
He reaffirmed his country’s commitment to supporting Uganda in its exploration of the oil and gas industry using the experience of Equatorial Guinea in hydrocarbons and gas.
Museveni calls for continental cooperation
President Yoweri Museveni called for more cooperation among oil and gas producing African countries.
“We should emphasize connectivity in the most efficient and logical way in which all our countries benefit. It is not good for every country to become a hub. I do not want Uganda to become the core and other countries to look like branches,” Museveni said.
Museveni commended Obiang N for being a strong pan Africanist who has taken his country from poverty to one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
“It is important to note that the transformation of Equatorial Guinea has been made possible through the proper utilization of their oil and gas,” he observed.
Karuhanga hails government
Elly Karuhanga the Chairman of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum thanked the Government for its commitment to the development of the oil and gas sector.
“The private sector is thrilled by government’s enthusiasm to the oil and gas sector. All laws needed have been made and all officials to man the sector appointed. There is no excuse for the private sector to accuse government of negligence,” he said.
Karuhanga identified a few remaining challenges that need immediate address by government such as the high cross border levies imposed on Ugandan trucks, short term funding by banks for long term projects and the skilling of Ugandans in the oil and gas sector.
Obiang arrived a day earlier for a two day state visit.
During his visit, Uganda and Equatorial Guinea entered a wide range of agreements that will see the two countries expand their ties in oil and gas management, economic and technical cooperation, among others
The two leaders led their respective countries’ delegations in bilateral talks aimed at bolstering cooperation between Uganda and Equatorial Guinean. The bilateral meeting focused on areas of interest between both countries including the establishment of joint missions, consultation on issues of common issues and economic, cultural and technical cooperation.
Strengthening our relationship with Equatorial Guinea is also important because it offers us a gateway into West and Central Africa. pic.twitter.com/RuvTTkwvN8
— Yoweri K Museveni (@KagutaMuseveni) April 26, 2017