Hon Opoloti Okaasai, the State Minister for energy and mineral development has rallied Chinese investors to invest in Uganda’s energy sector.
Hon Okaasai said Uganda for example presents great opportunities in the oil and gas sector in various projects including the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project, Kingfisher Development Project, Tilenga Project which is ongoing, and the oil and gas exploration through the upcoming third licensing round together with investment in the downstream segment of the oil and gas sector where the investors can take advantage.
“In the energy sector, the Government is working to increase the generation of energy, modernization, and expansion of energy transmission and distribution. This presents various opportunities for investment and partnership between Chinese and Ugandan companies,” he said.
Uganda, he further said is well endowed with enormous natural resources such as Minerals, hydro, geothermal, petroleum resources, wind, and solar thermal yet only a small fraction of this potential has been developed.
“Most of these sources are renewable and the current potential is as follows: Hydro is 4,500 MW, Solar is 5000MW, Nuclear is 2000MW, Biomass is 91521,650 tons, Geothermal is 1500 MW and wind is 7.5 m/s,” he said adding,
“The country recognizes the significance and potential of the mining sector characterized by the mapping of a number of minerals in the country including Gold, iron ores, Tin, Tungsten, Tantalite, Copper, Cobalt, Lithium, Graphite, rare earth elements, uranium, industrial minerals among others. In this regard, the policy and legal framework has been reviewed and updated which is expected to streamline the management and regulation of the mining sector in the country,”
Hon Okaasai made these remarks while officiating at China (Changsha) -Uganda Investment Economic and Trade Promotion Event that was held today on Tuesday at the Serena Kampala Hotel.
The conference was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Uganda Embassy in Beijing- China.
The, he said conference presents a great opportunity for business enterprises under the Changsha Municipal Bureau of Commerce to partner with Ugandan enterprises under the Private Sector Foundation Uganda.
“We are glad to have had and continue to have a number of investors from China in the energy, mining, and petroleum sectors under my Ministry. A number of the country’s flagship projects like the Karuma Hydropower Dam, Isimba Hydropower Dam, Kingfisher Development Project, Wagagai Gold Mining Project, and Osukuru Phosphates and Steel Project are being developed by companies from the People’s Republic of China.
This is in addition to mega projects in the construction of Transmission and distribution infrastructure and projects in other sectors of the economy like roads, and air transport, where Chinese companies are playing a leading role. In developing these projects, Ugandan enterprises and employees have been able to participate alongside the Chinese,” he said.
The main objective of this Conference was to further bolster bilateral cooperation between Uganda and the People’s Republic of China specifically the sister-sister relations of Changsha City and Entebbe City.
Speaking at the function, the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda H.E. Zhang Lizhong said that Chinese enterprises remained enthusiastic about investment in Uganda.
“China’s direct investment in Uganda reached 131 million US dollars in 2022, ranking No.10th among all African countries. The two sides have made positive progress in investment projects in the fields of transportation, electricity generation and transmission, oil development, and industrial parks. [Ambassador also shared his field visits findings that as the business environment in Uganda improves, more Chinese companies are coming for investment opportunities in industrial parks here,” he said
“In 2022, the economic cooperation between China and Uganda withstood the test of uncertain factors in the post-pandemic era and showed a good momentum of steady progress. The bilateral trade volume rose by 6.6% against the trend, reaching 1.14 billion US dollars. China granted zero-tariff treatment for 98% of taxable items to Uganda and will support Uganda in exporting more value-added products into the Chinese market. A new direct flight between Entebbe and China’s Guangzhou is expected to be soon opened for trade facilitation and people-to-people exchange,” he added.