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APO International

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Prioritizes Petroleum & Mineral Development Program Under Commercial Diplomacy, Officials Visit Oil Graben

todayApril 3, 2024 3

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The Hon. Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa Sentamu, this morning flagged off a delegation of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led by Permanent Secretary, Bagiire Vincent Waiswa on a 4-day field visit to the Albertine Graben region hosted by the Petroleum Association of Uganda (PAU) and comprising members of the MoFA Senior management, as well as Heads of Mission and technical officials from Uganda Embassies in Dar-Es-Salaam, Paris, Beijing and Abu Dhabi.

In a pre-briefing session held in the Ministry’s Wapakhabulo Auditorium, head of delegation Mr. Bagiire thanked the PAU for hosting the MoFA during the field visit and informed the Hon. Minister that MoFA has set four priority areas of focus for sourcing of investors under Economic and Commercial Diplomacy which include Agro-processing, Tourism, Mineral Development and Science and technology transfer. He shared that the MoFA had been working in close partnership with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development in building the technical capacity of Uganda’s Foreign Service by equipping the Ambassadors and officers with first-hand knowledge about Uganda’s petroleum industry and related mineral development programmes. He stressed the importance, in the face of an onslaught of misinformation and disinformation about Uganda’s mineral sector, for Uganda’s representatives abroad to be able to make quick and effective responses in setting the record straight.

Hon. Nankabirwa appreciated the MoFA for the initiative of making on-spot visits in the various priority areas. She encouraged the delegation to focus on familiarizing themselves with the international issues that surround the petroleum industry, particularly the economic and social issues in the project affected areas, environmental issues as well as study the procedures, standards and legal provisions. She encouraged them to interface with Project Affected Persons and engage them in conversations to learn their experiences. “Hearing from people on the ground will boost your confidence that Uganda has ticked off all the boxes in the quest for clean energy,” she advised the team to pay attention to the operational areas including the East African Oil Pipeline route which encompasses the main camps, pipe yards, livelihood restoration activities and replacement housing. Hon. Sentamu reminded the official of the urgent need to combat the environmental issues caused by careless use of fossil fuels and rampant deforestation which can be curbed through responsible oil and gas exploration. During the visit, the delegation will visit the UPIK, the Centre of Excellence for Oil and Gas Training and the Kingfisher Development project in Kikuube district to view the drilling activities.

The delegation will also visit the Waste Management Facility in Luwero Industries as well as inspect feeder pipeline activities and the Kabalega Industrial Park. Also on the programme, the team will visit the Tilenga Project Industrial area and experience activity at the MSL Agriculture Produce Collection point. “By the end of the field visit, we expect to have a highly empowered critical mass of Foreign Service personnel whose understanding of the Petroleum economy will be apparent, as they go out to seek for investment partners and collaboration opportunities in their areas of accreditation,” said PS Bagiire.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Republic of Uganda – Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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