Oil Discovery in Uganda: Managing Expectations

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Economic Policy Research Center
This paper discusses the management of expectations associated with the recent discovery of commercialisable oil (and gas) in Uganda. No commercial oil was flowing at the time of research and no oil revenues are expected until after 2013. The ‘early production agreement’ reached between Uganda and the oil companies (particularly Tullow Oil and Gas company) prioritizes the production of 50–100 megawatts of electricity that will be added on to the national grid by the late-2009.1 However, the additional electricity will remain below the country’s requirements. Yet, Ugandans – at the national, local government and community levels – appear to be nursing high expectations (but also apprehension) related to oil discovery. For some stakeholders, Uganda is on the verge of becoming an OPEC powerhouse. For others, oil discovery is likely to be a curse rather than a blessing. The key challenge for this paper is to understand the extent to which Uganda’s powers-that-be are effectively managing the positive expectations and the anxieties over what might go wrong.
Oil Discovery, Managing Expectations
Bategeka, L., Kiiza, J., & Ssewanyana, S. (2009). Oil discovery in Uganda: Managing expectations. Economic Policy Research Center, Makerere University, 1-27.