By K. David Mafabi
Today 12th May 2021, Yoweri K. Museveni has once again been sworn in as President of the Republic of Uganda. The President’s inauguration comes after an unequivocal and emphatic victory in the January 2020 Presidential Elections. Warmest congratulations on your inauguration Comrade President - outstanding leader and General of the African Resistance!
It is not our purpose today, to dwell on the achievements and accompanying challenges recorded by the President and the Movement Government since 1986. Our limited purpose today - that is, we who subscribe to the Ugandan and African Revolutions - is to underline the critical importance of the President’s steadying and guiding hand remaining at the helm of direct management of state affairs over the next 5 years. We shall speak to this at every opportunity: to our countrymen and women; to our neighbors in the East African region; to those who mean well for Africa outside our Continent.
Our focus is limited to a few areas which still badly need the guiding hand of the President - particularly in this sector which he has so carefully nurtured:
1. PETROLEUM AND GAS:
a). In the next 36 to 48 months we shall see the first oil barrels come out of the ground in Tilenga and Kingfisher in the Albertine Graben - these shall be the first out of 1.4 billion recoverable barrels.
b). We shall see some 260,000 barrels of oil pumped out everyday, and divided between the 1,400km heated crude oil pipeline to Tanga on the Tanzanian cost, and our Oil Refinery.
c). The pipeline shall take 200,000 barrels a day
d). The refinery shall take some 60,000 barrels a day
2. PREPARATORY AND CONSTRUCTION:
a). As the Final Investment Decisions are being made, contracts and tenders are being awarded: In the oil drilling machinery and rigs, transport, construction of the pipeline, construction of the refinery, etc. Jobs are being created, food is needed, accommodation is needed, health facilities are needed, up to 2,000 transport trucks to the Coast daily are needed, welders are needed, - etc, etc! It is mind bogling!
b). Without going into upstream proceeds from 1 immediately above, the investments into 2(a) immediately above are massive, unprecedented … up to US$15 billion spread out over the next 36 to 48 months …!! That is up to 40% of our current GDP … Direct investments aside, there shall be multiplier and trickle down effects … The Ugandan economy shall simply roar!
c). Then, the Oil Refinery - only 40% of the refined petroleum products from the Refinery, would care for the daily needs of the Ugandan, Kenyan, Tanzanian, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and South Sudan Markets! This would be another great boost to our economy - that is, without going into the byproducts: tar, plastics, etc!
3. ACCELERATED EAST AFRICAN POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC INTEGRATION:
a). With DRC joining the East African Community, the population of our Common Market and budding Monetary Union, shoots to 270 million people. That is a huge internal market for Agriculture, Industry, Services and ICT - the potential is enormous. Should Sudan (North) and Somalia join - they have already applied to do so - our population would increase further to 330 million people, the same as the United States of America.
b). The possibilities for enhanced Strategic Defence and Research grow exponentially - in this entity in the heart of Africa, with one leg in the Indian Ocean, the other in the Atlantic Ocean … A new, qualitatively higher and stronger African entity of the Nuclear, Digital and Space Ages is on an inexorable rise … Securing and insuring our future.
c). But, only political integration would provide the glue long enough needed to make the economics of integration work … None of the East African economies on their own are able drive the process of integration or provide the so-called flying geese phenomenon leadership (the arrowhead formation).
It is noteworthy that the East African Community Committee of Experts on this subject headed by Chief Justice Emeritus Benjamin Odoki, has lately flagged Political Confederation - as a transitional phase to East African Federation. This is due to constitutional differences among the partner states, varied levels of economic development and mixed implementation of the Customs Union, Common Market and Monetary Union.
Political Confederation would still be a giant political leap forward - along the road of Federation!
Your Excellency thank you for guiding us through rocky and tricky terrain up to this point in the long struggle of the African people for a new self-becoming in the world community of nations and peoples … The enemies of Africa and their local lackeys are in trepidation as they watch these momentous developments. Wananchi, in their animated millions and majority, shall decisively defeat these machinations.
Warmest congratulations once again, Comrade President!
K. David Mafabi
Senior Presidential Advisor/Special Duties