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African parliamentarians support East Africa Crude Oil Project

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Parliamentarians at the Pan African Parliament adopted a Motion to support the East African Crude Oil Project yesterday. Image credit: Pan African Parliament.

African parliamentarians support East Africa Crude Oil Project

The Motion for a Resolution of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) to support the East African Crude Oil Project was adopted by the PAP under Rule 60 of the Rules of Procedure of the PAP.

The motion was brought before the PAP by Hon. Okot Ogong Felix from Uganda. The Sixth Parliament of the PAP is sitting for the First Ordinary Session in Midrand, close to Johannesburg in South Africa.

The East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), also known as the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline (UTCOP) is intended to transport crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields to the Port of Tanga in Tanzania on the Indian Ocean. As of 2015, Uganda had proven oil reserves exceeding 6.5 billion barrels, of which about 2.2 billion barrels were recoverable.

The President of the PAP, H.E. Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira, said that the project was causing a lot of controversies and that it needs to be scrutinised to ensure that the PAP’s decision is based on facts and that the outcome will benefit the people of Africa.

Africa needs to enjoy economic freedom (African parliamentarians support East Africa Crude Oil Project)

Pressure from environmental groups has resulted in major institutions withdrawing funds for the project. They claim that the impacts of the pipeline on communities and on the natural areas that it traverses will be severe. The pipeline stretches for more than 1440km. Once completed, it will be the longest-heated crude oil pipeline in the world.

Hon. Ogong said that the PAP has a duty to ensure the people of Africa are prosperous and enjoy economic freedom.

“Africa needs to follow a different path in a Just Energy Transition. Therefore, I bring it before the members that PAP should support the right of African states to develop our oil and gas resources,” Hon. Ogong said.

“Furthermore”, he added that: “the PAP should emphasise that Africa and other developing countries need an alternative transitional agenda that allows them to develop resources to deal with their pressing needs to eliminate poverty.”

Hon. Ogong continued: “The PAP should support a notion that local communities can access technology to support the development and renewable energy solutions on the African continent; that PAP supports Uganda and Tanzania in its the development of the East African crude oil pipeline project and that the PAP emphasises the need for all African countries to uphold the human rights of all its people.”

Project should go ahead (African parliamentarians support East Africa Crude Oil Project)

In the debate Hon. Sulayman Saho from the Gambia said that the project should go ahead. “Africa needs infrastructure and employment for our people. Africa has a right to use its own natural resources,” said Hon. Sulayman Saho.

According to Hon. Domai Gatpan Kulang the motion should not even be debated. “Uganda and Tanzania should go ahead with the development. There is no need to debate the matter,” he said.

Hon. Bernadus Swartbooi from Namibia concurred and added that the climate change agenda should not be used to stop the development of Africa. “The climate change agenda should never be superior to human lives. Uganda, you have our support,” Hon Swartbooi said.

According to Hon Ng’wasi Damas Kamani from Tanzania, the pipeline will bring in estimated investments of close to USD4-billion. “It will benefit the region immensely in terms of technology and employment,” Hon. Kamani said.

Hon Anatropia Lwehikila Theonest, also from Tanzania, agreed and stated: “Both Uganda and Tanzania are sovereign countries. This project is very important for economic reasons, and we shall not allow people from other continents to dictate to us how to use our own resources,” said Hon. Theonest.

The 2nd Vice President of the PAP, Hon. Dr. Ashebir Woldegiorgis Gayo from Ethiopia stated that the PAP will engage the European Union in discussions about the issue and will assist Tanzania and Uganda. “We move to adopt the Motion,” Vice President Gayo said.

African parliamentarians support East Africa Crude Oil Project

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African parliamentarians support East Africa Crude Oil Project

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