East African Development Bank Gives UGX 1.8 Billion For SMES Along EACOP Route

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) business linkages project is expected to boost business linkages along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) route.
04 Oct 2021 13:28
(L-R) Charles Felix Olarker,Steven Sherura Bainenaama, Peninah Aheebwa Betty Namubiru, Dennis Kamurasi.

  The African Development Bank is to prover close to 1.8 billion shillings towards supporting businesses along the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline(EACOP)

A statement from the Petroleum Authority(PAU) says the government of Uganda and African Development Bank signed the gran agreement for the project mid-last month in Kampala.  

Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) business linkages project is expected to boost business linkages along the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) route.  

Small businesses along the EACOP route are expected to access new market opportunities through creation of business linkages between Small and Medium enterprises with large national, regional or international companies.  

A steering committee has since been established by the Petroleum Authority (PAU) to provide strategic guidance to implement the African Development Bank (AfDB) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) business linkages project.  

The steering committee constitutes 5 members including a representative from the Association of Oil and Gas Service Providers, Ministries of energy and local government and PAU.  

The members are Mr. Dennis Kamurasi, Vice Chairperson, Association of the Oil and Gas Service Providers; Charles Felix Olarker, Assistant Commissioner District Inspection, Ministry of Local Government, Steven Sherura Bainenaama, Principal Petroleum Officer, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD,) and  Betty Namubiru, Manager, National Content.

Namubiru is to double as the project coordinator. The committee will be chaired by Peninah Aheebwa, also Director, Technical Support Services at PAU.  

The Steering Committee will guide AfDB in the execution of the project and ensure effective oversight through the review of regular reports and results of periodic project evaluations.

The committee will be supported by the AfDB country office which will oversee the work of the implementing partner and all the responsible parties.

Speaking at the inauguration of the Committee, PAU Director, Dr. Joseph Kobusheshe said it is crucial that Ugandans take advantage of the opportunities around the pipeline.

  “It is extremely important to note that the oil and gas Sector in Uganda is broadening. In the next three to four years, a total of USD 15 billion of foreign direct investment is expected to support the development of the fields together with the midstream and support infrastructure that will lead to first oil. These investments present enormous opportunities for value addition in the country, however, taking up the opportunities will require adequate preparation. We believe that the project will benefit from your wealth of experience, and we look forward to working with you,” he said.

At least 200 SMEs are targeted under the project, and these will be supported in ensuring that they meet large company’s supplier criteria as well as commercial bank lending requirements.

Dennis Kamurasi said welcomed the project saying it will t will help build capacity of the ‘local local’ companies within the ten EACOP host districts.

“There are many areas such as supply of food stuff among others, where these companies can equally participate. We will make sure that even the local people benefit.” He said  

The National Content Manager at PAU, Betty Namubiru said the discovery of oil and gas resources in the country and the planned investments are an opportunity for a significant economic upturn by creation of new jobs and business opportunities.

  “However, the reality will be different if local MSMEs do not have the capacity and experience to participate. This explains why PAU came up with this initiative to build capacity of the local local companies in the host districts.” Said Namubiru  

Currently, the Expressions of Interest for the three main consultancies which are business development training, women and youth empowerment in business, development and delivery of business linkages have been prepared and the quarterly reports submitted.