The President of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo who is in Uganda on a state visit has advised on development of the logistics industry as the country draws closer to the production phase of oil.
He said that for countries like Uganda which are distant from the coast, approved logistics must be taken into consideration as a way of streamlining transportation.
He was speaking on Thursday while attending the Joint Oil and Gas Convention and Regional Logistics Expo which is ongoing at Kampala Serena Conference Centre. The visiting President attended the forum along with his host, about it President Yoweri Museveni.
“This visit has helped us to identify important areas of economic cooperation especially in oil and gas. Oil is a critical resource in the development of any nation, ed ” the Equatorial Guinea leader said.
However, he pointed out that unlike Equatorial Guinea, Uganda’s oil deposits are onshore which presents a number of challenges especially in terms of transportation of the product.
“When a country doesn’t have direct access to the sea port, the development of the logistics of oil and gas becomes critical. There’s great need to ensure cooperation with neighbouring countries like DR Congo, South Sudan and create joint logistics.”
Giving a background to the oil story of the West African oil producer, President Nguema attributed the country’s fast economic transformation to oil production. Having discovered its oil deposits in 1985, the country currently produces 300,000 barrels of oil per day.
He also tipped government of Uganda to take deliberate measures to see that citizens are involved in the oil activities as well as taking caution against players with ill motives.
In his remarks, President Museveni urged for policies that aim at bettering the efficiency in regional connectivity. This he said will lower the costs for economic activity inland.
“Challenges in electricity and road infrastructure have derailed our development for long but we are now constructing 10 oil roads, 2 hydropower dams and the Standard Gage Railway,” Museveni said.
Museveni said that in addition to oil and gas, Uganda possesses several other natural endowments such as phosphates, glass, copper, cobalt, agricultural products but whose logistical potential hasn’t yet been leveraged.
Nguema committed to supporting Uganda’s oil development through exchange of knowledge.