The Ugandan National Government claims to have learned from Nigeria and other African countries by enacting anti-venting legislation that prohibits gas flaring.
Mrs Ruth Ssentamu, Uganda’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, made the announcement on the sidelines of the recently concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, United States.
According to the minister, the legislation also encourages investment in the country’s oil and gas industry.
Ssentamu made the remarks at the Africa Women in Energy International Summit, which had the theme “Promoting Diversity and Partnership for Growth.”
She also stated that it was doing so in an effort to protect its environment from pollution, degradation, and a lack of investment.
According to the World Bank, gas flaring, which is the burning of natural gas associated with oil extraction, emits more than 400 million tons of CO2 equivalent emissions each year, including methane and other pollutants.
Ssentamu stated that Uganda had learned from the mistakes of other oil producing countries, particularly in Africa, in order to develop its own oil and gas law without repeating the mistakes of its forefathers.
She stated that Uganda will produce its first oil in 2025, and that the country has prohibited gas flaring and any other environmental hazards associated with oil exploration and production since the first day of production.
The minister stated that the discovery of oil should be a blessing for any country, but that such a blessing could turn into a curse if not properly prepared for.
She went on to say that oil could be a curse if a country decided to abandon agriculture and rely solely on hydrocarbon profits.
”Uganda prepared very well by training Ugandans to negotiate the terms, policies, and conditions for its oil industry, and they are now developing the industry.
“We put all relevant laws in place to guide our operations.” One of those laws states that all oil revenue must be used for infrastructure development and not for eating or paying salaries.”
According to her, one of the infrastructure developments that oil resources will fund is electricity, which is required for a country to industrialize.
She went on to say that oil revenue would be used to build refineries because the country would not be in the business of exporting all of its oil.
In terms of gender inclusion, she stated that it was time for women to be given prominent and front-row roles in economic management.
”As mothers, women are naturally not selfish because they want every member of the family to be happy in an equitable way,” she explained.
The energy minister went on to say that women should be in charge of the energy sector.
According to her, when there is a lack of electricity and cooking gas, it is the women who bear the brunt of cooking with firewood, which shortens their lives.