The Democratic Republic of Congo is seeking to partner in the Uganda – Tanzania oil pipeline. This was announced by Tanzania’s Minister for Energy and Minerals, Prof Sospeter Muhongo during the opening of the one-day meeting of ministerial Permanent Secretaries and Regional Commissioners from regions set to be involved in the course of the construction of the pipeline.
The Minister stated that he will be meeting with the Congolese counter-parts to discuss how the mineral rich DRC can get involved in the project. According to Professor Muhongo Burundi and South Sudan are also expected to use the pipeline.
“The pipeline would be useful in the course of transporting oil from Lake Tanganyika if the search for oil in the lake is successful,” he said.
Uganda has begun construction part of the project where they have provided 40 percent shares of the project to five East African countries with each country holding eight percent shares (150 million US dollars).
He also warned its residents from invading the land that has been set aside for the construction of railway, ordering those in those areas to relocate.
“Those who will be found to have invaded the areas after August, last year – the start of the pipeline construction deal – will not be compensated,” he said. He stated that research satellites would be used to establish those who would have invaded the construction lane land ahead of August.
Construction of the Uganda -Tanzania pipeline is scheduled to start in August, this year and expected to be completed before 2020.
On the other hand, Kenya seems to be losing its foothold in the region as there are reports that Ethiopia who had been part of the LAPSSET deal have begun constructing their own pipeline to Djibouti. However, The Lapsset Corridor Development Authority (LCDA) director general Mr. Silvester Kasuku last month allayed the fears that the Ethiopia Djibouti pipeline deal will affect the LAPSSET deal. He stated that the Uganda Tanzania pipeline deal would not affect the implementation of the LAPSSET oil pipeline plans.
With more countries wanting in on the Uganda –Tanzania pipeline deal, Kenya might have to rethink its strategy.