The planned construction of the oil pipeline from Hoima in Western Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania will strengthen ties of both countries and unlock growth opportunities for both countries, a high ranking official said Saturday night.
Tanzania’s Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Augustine Mahiga said the Oil Pipeline project is a “new artery added to our long historic relationship with Uganda” which he said was sealed with blood.
Speaking at celebrations to mark Uganda’s 55th Independence Anniversary at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam, Mahiga said the pipeline will go a long way in creating employment opportunities for both countries and attracting billions of dollars in foreign direct investment.
The 1,400km (800 miles) pipeline will connect Uganda’s western oil fields with Tanzania port of Tanga and is expected to cost about $4bn (£2.8bn) and create about 15,000 jobs.
Mahiga, who represented President John Pombe Magufuli, stressed Uganda and Tanzania were not only neighbors but also “comrades in arms .”
He recalled Tanzania’s support in uprooting dictator Idi Amin, saying the East African country’s armed forces and Ugandan fighters “dug trenches together, fought together and shed blood together” in the liberation war – forming a strong bond of brotherhood.
The celebrations were graced by diplomats, businessmen, government officials and Ugandans living in Tanzania.
Uganda’s Ambassador to Tanzania, Richard Kabonero reaffirmed that the two neighbours’ ties are “anchored by a shared sense of history in the joint liberation of Uganda by the citizens of our two countries as well as shared Pan African ideology and independence in our foreign policy.”
He said the pipeline will “create thousands of jobs and opportunities for our citizens, transfer technology and generate revenues to boost our economies.”
The two countries recently held their first Joint Permanent Commission in over ten years in which agreements on power, infrastructure, water transport, cooperation in defense and security were signed.
“We look forward to the rapid implementation of agreed MOUs to integrate our economies for the good of our people,” said Kabonero.
He emphasized that at the regional level, partner states shall “continue to work tirelessly to eliminate non-tariff barriers and make the EAC an attractive destination for foreign direct investment and trade.”