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Mak Hosts 1st National Oil and Gas Symposium 2020



Makerere University in partnership with Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) on Thursday 2nd July 2020 hosted the first ever National Oil and Gas Symposium in the Central Teaching Facility 2 (CTF 2) Auditorium, at the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS). The symposium which brought together the major players in the oil and gas sector; Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD), Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) as well as Members of Parliament (MPs), academia, representatives of companies exploring oil, members of the civil society, student representatives and members of the public was aimed at discussing the “Potential Contribution of the Oil and Gas sector to Uganda’s Economy”Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe giving his remarks.

Welcoming participants to the symposium, the Principal CoBAMS who also doubled as Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Eria Hisali thanked OWC for partnering with Makerere to bring the idea of the symposium to life. He equally thanked the Makerere University leadership for availing resources that made it possible for the symposium to be held in an academic setting, and partners such as NBS Television for streaming the event live.

He noted that whereas the symposium provided a great platform for various stakeholders and the public to discuss present and future prospects of the oil and gas sector in Uganda, there was need for an in-depth discussion of the day’s various topics. “I urge the academia to take time and follow-up today’s event with detailed research and analysis of these topics in collaboration with the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Civil Society Organisations and other players in the oil and gas industry.”Prof. Eria Hisali - Principal College of Business and Management Sciences discussed the Tullow Oil Farm Down

As host, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe shared that the University Council had just approved the new Makerere University Strategic Plan (2020-2030), whose main thrust is to make the institution more research intensive. He took cognizance of the research potential developed by Makerere in various disciplines over the years, which became more apparent as support rendered to Government’s efforts to fight against COVID-19.

In response to the discovery of commercially viable oil reserves in 2006, the Vice Chancellor shared that Makerere University introduced a Bachelor of Science Programme in Petroleum Geoscience and Production in 2009 and a Masters Programme in the same field in 2012. He added that the University in 2019 partnered with the China University of Petroleum to co-establish and operationalize the Institute of Geoscience and Petroleum at Makerere.Mr. Kiryowa Kiwanuka - Board Member, Petroleum Authority of Uganda reassured the symposium that the delayed Final Investment Decision (FID) was necessary given the anticipated revenues

“We have staff and students currently being trained in China as a result of this partnership” complimented Prof. Nawangwe. He continued to say “We acknowledge that the Uganda Petroleum Institute Kigumba is training the technical staff required by the oil and gas sector but we need to train researchers.”

Researchers, said the Vice Chancellor, would provide the much needed insight into how best the oil and gas sector in Uganda can be a stimulus for economic development. “Government has invested heavily in Makerere University over the years and it’s only proper that we give back.”

The symposium sought to thresh out the day’s topic in three panel sessions. These were on: Farm-downs, Final Investment Decisions (FID) and Uganda’s Economy; Governance and Local content Issues in the Oil and Gas sector; and Environment and Social Issues pertaining to the Oil and Gas Industry. The panel sessions were chaired by Hon. Bategeka Lawrence, Dr. Patrick Birungi and Prof. Pamela Mbabazi respectively.

Hon. Bategeka is the MP Hoima Municipality and Vice Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on National Economy. As an Economist who has worked as Senior Research Fellow at the Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) and written extensively about Uganda’s Oil and Gas sector, he was in his comfort zone chairing the day’s most impassioned discussions.

Presentations were made by Mr. Moses Kabanda, who represented the Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) on Implications of Delayed Final Investment Decision (FID) in Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector on the Economy and Prof. Eria Hisali on Analysis of the April 2020 Tullow Farm down transaction and its impact on FID. UNOC’s Mr. Daniel Muwoya followed this with Previous and Potential Contribution of Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector to the Economy and Council Member and Member, Board of Directors, PAU, Mr. Kiryowa Kiwanuka concluded with FID in Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector and the Post-COVID recovery of the Economy. UNOC’s Chief Commercial Officer Mr. Gilbert Kamuntu wrapped up the session on why the FID has taken so long and what has been achieved during the fourteen year wait.The First Panel Discussion Chair and Members (R-L): Hon. Bategeka Lawrence, Mr. Daniel Muwoya, Mr. Moses Kabanda, Mr. Gilbert Kamuntu, Mr. Kiwanuka Kiryowa and Prof. Eria Hisali, 2nd July 2020, CTF2 Auditorium, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

As the first substantive Executive Director of the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), Dr. Birungi, who has also previously lectured at Makerere University and served as Director, Development Planning at the National Planning Authority (NPA) is no stranger to local content issues and their economic trickle-down effects. His session therefore sought to bring the discussion home on how Ugandans and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have benefited and can continue benefiting from the oil and gas sector.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) made the first presentation on Good Governance & Transparency in the Oil and Gas Sector. Are we steering clear of the Dutch Disease? He was followed by the Manager, Petroleum Revenue Investment Reserve Fund at the Bank of Uganda, Mr. Philip Andrew Wabulya with Uganda’s Petroleum Revenue Management framework. The MP Buliisa County, Hon. Stephen Biraahwa Mukitale then discussed the Institutional Capacity to manage the oil and gas sector and finally Ms. Betty Namubiru, Manager National Content at PAU presented on Opportunities and challenges for SMEs to participate in the Oil and Gas Sector and Skilling and employment of Ugandans.Prof. Pamela Mbabazi - Board Chairperson, National Planning Authority

Prof. Mbabazi who is the Chairperson, National Planning Authority (NPA) and has also published a book The Oil Industry in Uganda; A Blessing in Disguise or an all Too Familiar Curse? She noted that revenues from the oil and gas sector have immense capacity to support national development if a people-centred approach in organising and planning for the sector is adopted.

Mr. Isaac Ntujju, the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA)’s Head, Oil and Gas then made the session’s first presentation on what the Government has done in terms of Livelihood Restoration for Persons Affected by the Oil and Gas projects. Dr. Joseph Kobusheshe, PAU’s Director Environment, Health, Safety and Security Management followed up with presentations on Readiness of the Government to implement Oil and Gas in the sensitive areas of the River Nile Basin, Lake Albert, Murchison Falls Park and Synergies between tourism and the oil and gas sector.Hon. Joy Kabatsi chats the President CNOOC Uganda Limited-Mr. Zhao Shunqiang during the Symposium on 2nd July 2020, Makerere University, Kampala Uganda.

The symposium was graced by the Minister of State for Transport, Hon. Joy Kabatsi, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs), Dr. Umar Kakumba and other dignitaries.

Please click a link below to view the recording of the day’s proceedings.


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