Only days after the French oil pipeline Total finalized talks with Ugandan President H.E. Yoweri Museveni, a state visit was made by the Ugandan leader to neighbouring Tanzania where he inked the deal with his counterpart Tanzania’s President H.E. John Magufuli, to jointly develop the East African Crude Oil Pipeline.
The pipeline will be 1 445 km long making it be Africa’s longest heated oil pipeline and is expected to carry some 230,000 barrels per day. Tanzania is expected to get the lion’s share of the deal since almost 80% of the pipeline will run through the country and is expected to employ more than 18,000 Tanzanians.
Most of the benefits involve the construction period of the pipeline where employment will be created for the Tanzanian youth along with a boost of economic activities all along the pipeline.
Uganda struck oil some 14 years ago back in 2006 but has since then met one hurdle after another in its ambition to sell the black gold. Now that Tanzania has come on board, the deal is for the 1,445-km of the pipeline to deliver oil from Uganda, through mainland Tanzania all the way to the port of Tanga.
Tanzania is also expected to pocket in excess of $3.24 billion and now all that is left is for Uganda to announce the start of the construction works.
After spending $575 million, Total, the major shareholder in Uganda’s oilfields bought out Tullow Oil and effectively took ownership of the onshore oil fields.
“The conditions are set for the ramp-up of project activities and in particular, we will resume the land acquisition activities in Uganda while respecting the highest human rights standards,” Total’s Uganda office said in a media statement.
However, the $3.5bn project has some environmental and humanitarian controversies. It is reported that more than 12,000 families risk losing their land and livelihoods this according to a joint report by the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and Oxfam.
However, in his public address, Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni said the displaced families will be compensated and the compensation will actually improve their livelihoods.