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Uganda to join EITI soon, says Energy Minister

Hon. Irene Muloni (left) poses with the Council for African Policy's Patrick Ongodia and another Ugandan participant at the EITI conference in Sydney.

Hon. Irene Muloni (left) poses with the Council for African Policy’s Patrick Ongodia and another Ugandan delegate, Don Binyina, at the EITI conference in Sydney.

The sixth global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) ended today in Sydney, Australia, with all member countries and prospective member countries, including Uganda, re-affirming their commitment to the initiative.

Uganda’s Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Irene Muloni, has assured the 1,300 delegates in attendance that Uganda would soon apply to join EITI, effectively subjecting the country to the highest global standards of good resource management.

“The National Oil and Gas Policy explicitly commits government to join EITI and participate in the process of EITI implementation. Engagement with EITI (Secretariat) continues and significant progress has been made in preparing the country to join EITI. I therefore have no doubt that very soon we shall apply and be allowed to join EITI,” said Hon. Muloni.

Hon. Muloni, who retained her cabinet position in a mini-reshuffle yesterday, added that Uganda was committed to “harnessing its petroleum resources in the most transparent and accountable manner to the benefit of all Ugandans and the generations to come.”

Ugandan civil society groups have repeatedly called on government to sign up to the voluntary initiative that operates on the principal that countries declare income they earn from their extractive industries and that the companies operating in those countries also declare the payments they make to host governments.

Uganda has repeatedly expressed its willingness to join EITI, but has been reluctant to take solid steps towards achieving that goal.

Earlier this month, President Yoweri Museveni also assured development partners that Uganda would sign up to the initiative, whose membership is growing steadily.

 

Report by Musiime Chris