Ugandan oil discoveries attracting prospectors despite global crisis

Mar 12, 2009 01:00 AM

Uganda's recent success has added impetus to the search for oil in East Africa, loosening investors' purse strings and awakening governments to take policy action, a regional conference on petroleum investment heard. There has been a resurgence in oil prospecting despite the global economic downturn as a result of the new discoveries in western Uganda.
"We are currently experiencing a resurgence in East Africa," said Julius Onen, the deputy secretary general of the community, during the opening session of the three-day East African Petroleum Conference (EAPC) in Mombasa.

The EAC is set to establish a common market by 2010, which comes along with a host of other efforts to harmonize the regional business environment in the hope of attracting investment in key sectors such as energy. Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka said pursuit of common interests such as energy security could spur joint action in key areas such as road and railway transport, oil and gas refining, storage, and distribution.
The search for investors in the petroleum subsector comes at a time when a global recession is threatening to decrease international investment interest in East Africa.

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