Maendeleo ya Jamii (MYJ) and the Albertine Graben Oil & Gas Districts Association (AGODA) have today released a special report on the oil and gas sector.
The report titled Ugandan Perspectives on Oil and Gas: Extending Opportunities for Multi- Stakeholder Engagement was unveiled during a breakfast meeting at the Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
The report, which is part of the MYJ and AGODA multi-year project entitled Elevating Local Priorities in Ugandas Petroleum Development and funded by the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) was unveiled by the Ambassador, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Her Excellency, Elin Johansen.
Speaking during the launch of the report, Johansen observed that Norway is in a unique position of being the provider of choice for technical assistance to the relevant Government of Ugandas oil and petroleum institutions, through the Oil for Development Programme.
Through this programme, Norway shares its technical competence and experience in the oil sector with Uganda.
She highlighted the fact that the exploration and development phases currently occur in some of the most remote parts of the country where citizens have limited access to social services.
The petroleum industry is often expected to address the gaps in social services, and much as it has done so in a number of areas, the expectation that it can and should do more usually remains high.
Johansen said Norway is working with other development partners such as Denmark, The European Union, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands and Austria, to harmonise their support to state and non-state institutions through the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) and are making contributions in the oil and gas sector at all levels by working with local communities, CSOs and other actors in the sector.
On his part, Maendeleo ya Jamii (MYJ), Coordinator, Jacob Manyindo, noted the importance of stakeholder engagement in the petroleum sector that is guided by research.
He explained thatthe research being launched today is the kind that MYJ and AGODA rely on to guide stakeholder engagement that delivers impact.
According to Manyindo, this research report is unique in 3 ways;
1. It samples districts that have experienced or are experiencing the upstream oil and gas life cycle in Uganda:
where exploration licences were or are expected to be granted;
where production licences have been granted;
where the East African Crude Oil Pipeline will pass; and
where the refined products pipeline will pass.
2. It carries the validated perceptions of communities and local governments impacted by the upstream oil and gas life cycle.
3. It disaggregates the data in a number of ways that grants the user greater utility.
Manyindo encouraged the full spectrum of stakeholders in Ugandas oil and gas sector such as the communities, local governments, private sector, government ministries, departments and agencies, academia, civil society organisations, media, as well as development partners to make full use of the report.
On his part, the Albertine Graben Oil & Gas Districts Association (AGODA), Executive Director, Godie Kwizera noted that communities and local governments are resident stakeholders of the oil and gas industry in Uganda, and as such, bear the heaviest weight and impact of the industry. Kwizera added that local governments and communities have embraced the concept of multi-stakeholder engagement over the last eight years. As a result, local governments have coalesced around AGODA and communities in Buliisa, Hoima, Kikuube and Madi-Okollo, have formed associations such as Community Empowerment for Development (CED), Hoima Oil & Gas Community Association (HOGACA) and Nile Belt Community Development Association (NiCODA). Kwizera requested development partners to support the Annual Financing Plan and Budget formulated by AGODA to provide minimal facilitation to the Ministry of Local Government and District Local Governments to address additional responsibilities created by the oil and gas industry.