Uganda

Other than the trade issues, the session examined and harmonized implementation of decisions across various sectors of bilateral cooperation including immigration, education, transport, communication, defence and security, energy and mineral development among others.

The meeting was a success to say the least, however, it still remains to be seen whether in the wake of the meeting, Ugandan truckers will pay less at the Tanzanian border. With a six month reporting period, a lot can transpire in the interim.

It is now going towards a month since the January sit-down and no ground reports have been publicized as to whether the toll fees have been harmonized for Uganda to match other EAC charges at the Tanzanian border.

TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said that the memorandum of understanding will see the French firm produce Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) and also deploy large-scale renewable energy technologies to identify areas of commercial investment.

Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa said in a speech ahead of the signing that the agreement would put the country on the path to first oil in 2025. She added that EACOP would create approximately 160,000 jobs during the project’s development.

The agreement dictates TotalEnergies will develop solar, wind, geothermal, and other renewable technology power projects in Uganda to add a combined installed electricity output capacity of 1 Gigawatt by 2030 to the current 1.2-Gigawatt production.

The programme runs for the 3-6 months between secondary school completion and the beginning of university.

It also offers the Global Summer Internship Programme, which allows scholars studying at international universities to return to Africa for their summer holidays and intern with Equity Group and its partners, giving them work experience and building their professional networks on the continent.

Others include the College Counselling Programme, which supports Equity scholars to access admission and scholarships to some of the world’s leading universities, including the Ivy League universities in the US.

Statistically, Uganda appears to have been relatively untouched by the pandemic in terms of infections and deaths but unhappily holds the unenviable world record of being the country that closed its schools for the longest time.

The consequences of this in terms of mental health, teenage pregnancy, child labour and school dropout rates is likely to have a negative effect on my adopted country for many years to come. School closure also emphasised the uncertainty factor.

President Museveni and his Health Minister have recently declared that not even Omicron will delay the reopening of the economy any longer and that Uganda will be fully open for business with the aim of rebuilding the economy from January 2022 onwards.