By Samuel Ssebuliba
The governments of Uganda and Equatorial Guinea have agreed on an action plan for implementing a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of oil and gas.
This was during President Yoweri Museveni’s four-day state visit to the country that has ended today.
According to a joint communiqué by the president Museveni and his host H.E Teodre Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the priority activities will include exchange of information on policies, legal and regulatory structures, capacity building in the areas of operation, production and process control, environmental health and safety.
The training will also cover construction as well as maintenance of oil and gas infrastructure.
The two delegations further agreed that both countries will be participating in hydrocarbon events, starting with the upcoming 3rd Uganda International Oil and Gas Conference scheduled for end of September 2017.
Addressing a joint Press Conference with his host, President Museveni said, it will be the first time that Equatorial Guinea will be sharing experiences with Uganda in the areas of oil and gas saying while there are many pitfalls, it is important to learn and agree with exploration companies to avoid selling cheaply.
On how he has managed to turn what is described as the oil curse into a blessing for his people, President Obiang Nguema said the ugly term, ‘curse’ is only used by exploiters and that oil is black gold and cannot be referred to as a curse.
“Like Honey, Oil and gas attracts all and sundry. Petroleum or black gold is never going to be a curse. How can a curse bring so much transformation and development to a nation. Only those seeking to have the wealth for themselves wish that it is a curse for others,” he said.
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on the other hand said Museveni is the first Uganda President to visit his country and that despite not going to many places, he dedicated three days to Equatorial Guinea.
President Obiang Nguema said the quality of the person of President Museveni is a rare and yet great quality for the continent and humanity.
“The quality of the person of the president Museveni, we find few on the continent. A very good leader, pan Africanist who looks for the sovereignty of the people of Africa. Without the Intention of minimizing rate of other leaders on the continent, we need more leaders with the qualities of President Museveni to pacify Africa,” he said.
In order to further bolster bilateral relations, the two leaders have each promised to appoint ambassadors in the near future.