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EU Parliament EACOP Resolution to Be Explained

The European commission in Uganda, is set to fully address the matter of the European union parliament resolution on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project, at that upcoming Uganda-EU business summit later this month.  

Due to environmental and human rights issues, the European union parliament resolved, to calling for a halt on the construction of the 1,444 kilometer pipeline, expected to transport crude oil from Kabaale, Hoima in western Uganda, to the Chongoleani peninsula along the Tanzanian coast on the Indian ocean.

 This resolution over a 4-billion-dollar project which is expected to provide up to 15,000 construction jobs, and between 1,000 to 2,000 permanent ones, met a lot of criticism from different people, and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni vowed that the project will go on irrespective of the EU’s position.

“I saw in the papers that the EU parliament passed a resolution directing TOTAL not to proceed with the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. Please, don’t waste your time thinking about that. We have a contract with TOTAL written very well. The oil will come out in 2025, the first batch. The Oil project will go on and no one can stop it,” the president said.

Additionally, there have been numerous protests from different sections of the Ugandan society, some of whom were school children in protest against the resolution. However, a number of environmental protection and human rights activists, as well as opposition politicians welcomed it.

Though from the onset the European union commissions in Uganda indicated the resolution as not binding, Carolyn Andreessen the head of cooperation at EU commission delegation in Uganda, says this issue will be fully covered along with any matters arising from it, come the 26th October business forum.

While addressing journalists at the media center on what to expect in the summit, Andriansen says the EU parliament is an independent institution, with its own roles and responsibilities. She adds that however, its concerns have been taken note of, and the EACOP stake holders should put them into consideration.

According to Andriansen, the European union delegation is engaging the lead investors TotalEnergies and the government of Uganda, for proper due diligence over the project.

“We are engaging all the private sector operations and that is TotalEnergies, and all the others that are involved in this project, to make sure that they respect their responsibilities in terms of environmental and social impact and labor standards,” she explained.

It was also revealed the EU has earmarked 8 million Euro to facilitate improvement of quality of the farm products that Uganda exporters to the European market especially fruits and flowers. 

Uganda farm products suffered several bans from the European market due to poor quality, and this partly explains the trade imbalances of USD 600 million against USD 800 million, in favor of Europe.  

The ambassador, says that they are working with the ministries of agriculture trade and finance, to effectively use this fund, such that the poor quality as at bottle neck to smooth trade is solved.

Evelyn Anite, Uganda’s minister for privatization and investments, says that Uganda is still seeking for more investments from Europe, to add on to the the 10 billion dollars which was invested in the oil and gas sector.

According to Anite, the upcoming summit is a great opportunity for Uganda to attain middle income status, and also to boost trade relations between the two territories, and also an in depth discussion about the EACOP.

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