KAMPALA – The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU) has on 22 February signed a contract with Stanbic Business Incubator Limited (SBIL) and other partners to build the capacity of over 200 Ugandan enterprises along the crude export oil pipeline route.
This is being done to enable them compete for contracts to supply Uganda’s oil and gas sector, and other related opportunities.
The consortium of partners, which is led by SBIL, includes Conexus Oil & Gas, Solid Rock Life & Business, and Living Earth Uganda, will carry out the training for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in the ten (10) districts along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) route.
According to PAU, the training takes place in the ten districts of Hoima, Kikuube, Kakumiro, Kyankwanzi, Gomba, Mubende, Lwengo, Sembabule, Kyotera, and Rakai.
Mr Ernest Rubondo, the Executive Director, PAU said, the business development training is one of the three major components of the MSMEs business linkages project along the EACOP project being implemented by the PAU with support from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The development comes following the announcement of the Final Investment Decision (FID) for Uganda’s oil and gas projects on 1 February and this also signifies the commitment of the oil companies to invest close to US$ 10 billion to develop Uganda’s oil and gas resources through the implementation of the Tilenga Project in Buliisa and Nwoya districts; the Kingfisher Project in Hoima and Kikuube Districts (approximately US$6-8bn); and the EACOP.
“These investments present enormous opportunities for value addition in the country and there are many opportunities for Ugandan enterprises to participate. However, taking up the opportunities will require adequate preparation and the enterprises will have to demonstrate that they have the required capacity to deliver against sector requirements. The objective of this business development consultancy, therefore, is to build the capacity of MSMEs along the EACOP pipeline,” Mr Rubondo said.
“The sector has moved from the season of scarcity to a season of plenty for opportunities in the oil and gas project in Uganda”, Mr. Rubondo emphasized, adding that Ugandan companies must recognize this and start working as partners rather than competitors,” he added.
Mr. Tony Otoa, the Chief Executive SBIL said SBIL is pleased to lead this consortium of partners which brings a lot of value to this project and that beyond training these MSMEs,they will offer mentorship and opportunities to access to finance and markets.
“Therefore, I can confidently say that today’s signing is our way of ensuring Uganda’s growth is realized and key to this is supporting local enterprises by way of building their capacity to ensure they compete for contracts to supply Uganda’s oil and gas sector.” Mr Otoa said.
This event also saw the PAU also sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU) aimed at enhancing private sector participation in the oil and gas sector.
Mr. Stephen Asiimwe, the Chief Executive Officer at PSFU revealed that the partnership was timely as the private sector was grappling with solving the problem of youth unemployment.
“Through this partnership, the private sector will not only bring on board the necessary skills for capacity building, but we will also harness all the opportunities presented by the huge investment in the oil and gas sector to further enhance Uganda’s economic development,” said Asiimwe.
Mr. Asiimwe explained that the oil and gas sector is expected to increase Uganda’s GDP by 22% by end of the construction phase and will employ 14,000 people directly and 45,000 people indirectly.
“As PSFU, we anticipate that at least 30% of the total expenditure on investment in Uganda will be retained and this, we believe, will significantly change the private sector,” stressed Mr Asiimwe.
The PAU’s mandate is to monitor and regulate the exploration, development, and production, together with the refining, gas conversion, transportation, and storage of petroleum in Uganda and this includes ensuring that petroleum operations in Uganda are carried out in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations, guidelines, statutes, and in line with international best practice for the petroleum industry. In addition, the PAU is required to monitor national participation in the sector.
On its part, SBIL trains and facilitates MSMEs to develop resilient businesses, access ready markets, finances, and other business support resources. Since founding in 2008, SBIL has trained 3,234 Ugandan entrepreneurs attached to 2,007 SMEs.