Uganda Explores Exclusive Oil Import Deal with Tanzania, Strengthening Regional Ties

Uganda Explores Exclusive Oil Import Deal with Tanzania, Strengthening Regional Ties

In a bid to bolster economic ties and streamline its oil import operations, Uganda is currently engaged in discussions with Tanzania to explore the possibility of importing all its oil via Dar es Salaam. The potential agreement, if finalized, would mark a significant shift in Uganda’s energy import strategy and further strengthen the burgeoning partnership between the two East African nations.

The talks, initiated by Ugandan authorities and their Tanzanian counterparts, aim to establish a comprehensive framework for the exclusive importation of oil through Tanzania’s ports and infrastructure. Under the proposed arrangement, Uganda would leverage Tanzania’s established maritime facilities and transportation networks to meet its growing demand for petroleum products.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing negotiations, Ugandan Energy Minister, Ruth Nankabirwa, emphasized the strategic importance of diversifying Uganda’s oil import routes and enhancing regional cooperation in the energy sector. Minister Nankabirwa underscored the potential benefits of the proposed deal, including increased energy security, enhanced supply chain efficiency, and mutual economic gains for both countries.

This comes amid Uganda’s dissatisfaction with the longstanding system under which Ugandan fuel companies buy 90 percent of their supplies through affiliated firms in Kenya. Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, has complained this exposes his country to supply disruptions and high pump prices.

“We are negotiating with the Tanzanian government. The technical teams are talking, and I will be meeting Her Excellency, the president on that,” Nankabirwa said.

Tanzania, endowed with strategic maritime access along the Indian Ocean, has emerged as a pivotal gateway for landlocked Uganda to access global energy markets. The prospective oil import deal reflects the deepening collaboration between the two nations, building upon existing infrastructure projects such as the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline, which is set to facilitate the export of Ugandan crude oil to international markets via Tanzania.

While discussions are ongoing, stakeholders remain optimistic about the prospects of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement in the near future. The proposed oil import deal underscores Uganda’s commitment to diversifying its energy procurement strategies and harnessing regional partnerships to drive sustainable economic growth.

As negotiations progress, attention now turns to the finer details of the proposed agreement, including tariff arrangements, logistics coordination, and regulatory frameworks. Both Uganda and Tanzania are poised to leverage their respective strengths and resources to ensure the successful implementation of the envisioned oil import arrangement, further solidifying their role as key players in the East African energy landscape.

With the potential for increased cross-border trade and cooperation, the Uganda-Tanzania oil import talks herald a new chapter in the region’s economic integration efforts, promising to unlock opportunities for shared prosperity and development across East Africa.