‘We Want In’ —Youth Leaders From Uganda Oil-rich Region Demand Commercial Opportunities

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Youth leaders from Uganda’s oil-rich Bunyoro region are demanding for more exposure to commercial opportunities in the oil and gas sector.

Currently, the government and oil companies are implementing several infrastructure and environmental social impact studies in preparation for the first barrel of oil expected by 2022. An airport is already being constructed, and government also plans to construct a 60,000 barrel per day oil refinery and other attendant industries.

There is also an ongoing study of the East Africa crude export pipeline from Hoima to Tanga Port in Tanzania. A number of roads are also being constructed to aid oil production.

Gilbert Tibasiima, the Buliisa district youth chairperson says there is a need for oil companies and government to link them to procurement and supply opportunities because there are many youths with goods and services but they do not know the procurement process of the oil companies.

The youth expressed their demands during a youth entrepreneurship training at Hoima Resort hotel in Hoima district on Friday. The training was organized by Kitara Development Initiative (KITADI) with support from Action Aid Uganda.

John Kusiima, a youth dealing in poultry project says he has over 500 birds that can be consumed by oil workers but he has no knowledge on how he can approach the oil companies. Jackline Ayesiga, a youth from Kirasa LCI in Masindi Municipality who operates a coffee nursery bed is promoting commercial coffee growing in Masindi district.

She says her ambition is to have a coffee processing facility that can supply coffee to oil workers and the local communities. However, Hoima district vice chairman Fredrick Kakoraki, however, argues that people in Bunyoro have started benefiting directly and indirectly.

Kakoraki says leaders will help find ways of making some of the youths engaging in productive ventures to get registered on the national suppliers data base.

Source: Uganda Radio Network

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