President Museveni has challenged western companies to take keen interest in helping Africa explore her resources’ potential because the continent presents immense business opportunities.
Museveni made the remarks on Tuesday as he witnessed the signing of the Project Framework Agreement between the government and the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC).
The deal will ensure development, design, financing, construction, operation and maintenance of the oil refinery in Hoima District.
“There is a lot of sleeping in Africa. You find people who should know but instead don’t know. There has also been sleeping in the West, they don’t care about what potential is in Africa,”Museveni said.
“Africa and the West share a lot of history together and there is a need for them to use these past linkages to further economic business.
He said, unlike China which seems to understand Africa’s potential and has been active in doing business with Africa, Western companies have been reluctant in taking up projects and investing in the continent yet the future is bright in terms of business because the problems of fragmented markets and confiscation of private companies by regimes is a story of the past.
“Africa is going to be a huge power house in terms of business.”
Museveni however said that with the signing of the deal, it was an indicator that the West was waking up to realise the potential that Africa has.
The deal was signed between the Uganda government represented by the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and a partnership of Italian and Mauritian companies including YAATRA Africa, Lion works Group Limited, Nuovo Pignone International SRL and SAIPEM SPA.
The 60,000 barrels per day refinery project will cost a whopping $3-4 billion and will supply products including kerosene, petrol, diesel and heavy fuel oils among others and these will be transported via a pipeline to a facility near Kampala.
Uganda’s oil was discovered in the Albertine Graben in 2006 and the country is estimated to have 6.5 billion barrels of oil deposits with an estimate of 1.4-1.7 billion barrels recoverable.