Tanzania & Uganda sign oil pipeline deal

Uganda’s Presidents Yoweri Museveni and Tanzania’s John Pombe Magufuli signed a deal on Sunday in Dar es Salaam to build an oil pipeline from Hoima to Tanga Port. The 1400 km pipeline deal comes after failed talks between Uganda and Kenya last year.

“This project shows that East Africa can do things if it wants,” Museveni commented at the signing. “It is a realisation of economic and social development of our countries. It is also a strategic way of East African integration and will strengthen our relationship.”

For his part, Magufuli hailed the deal as “the result of a historical friendship and brotherhood between the two countries.” The Tanzanian leader added, “This is a very big project, I know Uganda has found 6.5 billion barrels of oil in Hoima and probably will find more and we also expect to find oil in Lake Tanganyika and Lake Eyasi, all of which will lead to this same pipe,” according to a statement in Swahili on the website of the Tanzanian presidency.

According to the text of the joint communique, recent talks have settled outstanding issues to do with taxation of the pipeline company, depreciation and other matters. The next steps include agreeing upon a date for Museveni and Magufuli to lay a foundation stone.

“The issues of the Hoima-Tanga pipeline are agreed and resolved,” says the communique signed by the two leaders.

Museveni explained his preference for Tanzania as partner on his Facebook page, saying, “We chose to partner with Tanzania because of its relative stability, favourable land system and because Tanga Port is protected from ocean waves which makes oil transportation easy.”

“We have tasked our attorneys general to finalise an Inter-Government Agreement which will be signed by our energy ministers on Friday May 26th, 2017.”