World Bank to support Uganda’s oil projects despite protests from London NGO

The World Bank will support Uganda’s Ambitious community and infrastructural development Project in the Albertine Graben despite protests from Global Witness, a London based Non- Government Organization

Through the World Bank loan, the government hopes to invest at least $153.89 million (about UShs412.5 billion) in all the nine districts in the Albertine region. However Global Witness wants the World Bank to demand for transparency and accountability in the oil sector before the Bank extends aid to the country.

George Boden, a campaigner at Global Witness believes Uganda’s oil sector has continued to be shrouded by secrecy which he says will facilitate corruption and misuse of the revenues accruing from the sector.

He argues that it is the duty of the International donors to ensure that the sector is run prudently by demanding tangible transparency measures before they support the sector.

Though the World Bank’s Communications Associate Sheila Gashishiri does not dismiss George Boden’s concern about transparency she is quick to note that the Albertine region Sustainable Development Project is not just about oil. She is of the opinion that Global Witness has misunderstood the essence of the project and thus their fears on transparency.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance Aston Kajara has appeared before Parliament to seek Parliament’s approval of the loan for the projevt.

Under the project, $25million (about UShs67 billion) will finance skills development in the Albertine region. According to Uganda’s Minister of Education, Jessica Alupo the money will be channeled to raising 600 oil bursaries for students in the region and the establishment of a new petroleum institute in Nwoya District. The project will also support the existing petroleum institutes in Kichwamba and Kigumba.

There is also a special plan under the project to transform selected populated areas of Biso, Wanseko, Kigolobya, Kyangwali and others, into urban centres ahead of the oil production phase.

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