OPINION – Well, a few weeks ago when the European Union Parliament sat and made a resolution calling upon Uganda and Tanzania to stop the EACOP pipe line due to allegations of human rights abuse and environmental concerns.
The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon Thomas Tayebwa came out through his twitter handle and lashed the European Union as a Parliament trying to assert colonial power over a Country that is now independent. He further called this as an economic substage by the West.
This followed a tweet from the CEO of Uganda, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who strongly asserted and assured Ugandans that EACOP MUST continue whether Total Energies pulls out or not. President Museveni’s tweets excited Ugandans, because he sounded brave, strong and fearless.
Even when there are economic hardships being experienced by majority Ugandans, not many have demanded from their Government an explanation for expensive standards of living and essential commodity prices skyrocketing day and night. Majority Ugandans have settled for less on the excuses of COVID-19 and war between Russia and Ukraine!
Now, both CNOOC and Total Energies, are foreign oil exploration companies, whereas Total energies is largely funded by European banks, CNOOC is funded by China.
China and Europe are not on good terms as we speak due to economic pressure that China could be putting on Europe therefore China might not be and will never be a strong ally of Europe in as far as business or global economics are concerned.
Europe will always work even harder to make sure that China does not keep the only super power with majority investment interests in Africa and neither will China slumber.
Now away from international Geopolitics, East Africa is struggling to unify as one Community in order to have a better or bigger bargaining power on the Continent, which does rub both Europe and China on a wrong shoulder, This is one of the many reasons why the East African integration will keep taking baby steps.
Back here in Uganda, our President, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has always advocated for export of finished products rather than raw materials. The EACOP is a pipeline to export raw Material to the West! Yes, Crude oil!
What does this mean? Both China and Europe came here to dig Mr Museveni’s oil from Hoima, use and destroy livelihoods of Ugandans through displacements from their land, destroy the Flora, Rivers, Forests, Kill some of our animals etc on their way through Tanzania and off to Europe again with Museveni’s oil!
No local value created!
As a Ugandan, I wanted to know how much we will be earning as a Country, or even how much Total Energies or CNOOC will be earning?, what is our investment amount? How much will Tanzania earn? the information is still or even largely scanty.
What happens if we don’t export our crude oil to Europe?
Yes, Europe has the expertise, how about if both CNOOC and Total energies purified our crude oil from here?
Will they die? Or shall we die? But we have lived all these years without oil anyway, did we die? Let us exploit other resources or minerals if oil exploration is seemingly becoming a bad investment deal for us.
For God and my Country Uganda.