We are very excited to present a new website and the first edition of the Oil in Uganda Newsletter, a quarterly publication produced as part of an Oil Governance and Transparency Initiative implemented by ActionAid International Uganda (AAIU) and supported by the Ford Foundation.
The Oil in Uganda Website and Newsletter set out to provide regular, timely and accurate information on the social, economic, governance and environmental dimensions of Uganda’s oil and gas exploration and production.
The purpose of this initiative is to promote transparent, constructive and well-informed public and policy debate, in the belief that this is essential for oil management that is fair, prudent, accountable and beneficial to all Ugandan citizens, including future generations.
We are all beginning to appreciate that the exploitation of oil resources in Uganda presents incredible opportunities for positively transforming our economy, communities and lives of citizens if well harnessed. If mismanaged however, Uganda, like many countries around the world may suffer the double tragedy of documented vices: ‘Dutch Disease’ - the negative effect of depending on oil resources for other sectors of the economy, and the ‘resource curse’ - the failure to harness the resource for good, so that instead its exploitation foments instability, corruption and suffering for the majority.
As the tagline to the newsletter states ‘Everyone is talking about oil: we capture the whole conversation.’ We want to create a platform for debate and authentic expression of diverse, but constructive voices on oil governance. We believe that; informed, honest and sober discussions on oil in Uganda presents one critical avenue through which we can achieve optimal, just and equitable returns from the blessing that a natural resource like oil can bring and avert possible anarchy as a result of its mismanagement. We believe that there are many actions required from multiple actors to ensure the country gets the most out of the discovery of oil and we have identified the provision of information as our modest and humble contribution to this effort. We have thus developed 2 important products to take this commitment forward
The first is this quarterly newsletter, focusing on topical issues in the oil exploration process. In this maiden issue we cover analysis of the proposed petroleum legislation that is before Parliament. This is critical because if we get the legislation wrong there is a risk of institutionalising problems in the oil sector. We thus call upon Parliament and each Parliamentarian to wear a national hut and place national interests above all other.
The second product is an Oil in Uganda Website www.oilinuganda.org which provides an extensive information source on developments in the oil industry in Uganda. We dispel myths, provide expert analysis, news and connect people and voices. We are building this into a ‘one-stop-centre’ on oil governance in Uganda with several informative links on local and global Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on oil, an online Resource Centre with studies and reports on oil and gas, an oil Timeline that traces the history of oil exploration in Uganda since 1890, News Links on oil in Uganda and much more.
We encourage you all to visit the Oil in Uganda website, learn from a publication that will provide a good starting point to understanding oil exploration in Uganda and the politics around it. We promise to remain objective and true to our values and will rejoice when citizens of Uganda take up a frontline role in ensuring equitable, just and fair exploitation of our natural resources.