CI VIEW: Uganda Oil Minister Irene Muloni says country seeks to turn “black gold” into “green gold” Update:

HOUSTON/WASHINGTON (CI Africa) – (Update on Feb. 2, 2015 to add interview with Uganda Finance Minister Ugandan Minister Hon. Maria Kiwanuka) Uganda Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon Eng Irene Muloni said the African nation is planning to re-invest much of its oil revenue windfall into the country’s agriculture sector as way to provide sustainable growth to the country.

[Uganda Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Hon. Eng Irene Muloni speaks to Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at  IHS CERAWEEK in Houston]

Muloni told Capitol Intelligence that Uganda is seeking to transform “black gold” from oil revenues to “green gold” of a flourishing agriculture industry. “That is why we want to get the revenues from here (oil) to invest in agriculture. Our country is so beautiful, on whose soil anything grows,” she said, adding.  “We want to tap into the very high-value crops because for sustainability as oil is going to be exhausted but agriculture is forever. So whatever happens, they will benefit from this black gold and find it in green gold.”

[Uganda Finance Minister Hon. Maria Kiwanuka speaks with Capitol Intelligence using CI Glass at Energynet Powering Africa Summit in Washington, DC. January 29, 2015]

Uganda Finance Minister Hon. Maria Kiwanuka says her country is doing it utmost to make its energy production and distribution market as attractive to foreign investors as possible.

During an interview at Energynet’s Powering Africa Summit in Washington, DC on Jan. 28, Minister Kiwanuka said Uganda has opened all its main markets of renewable and traditional energy production to take full advantage of the Power Africa initiative personally pushed through by US President Barack Obama.

Oil Minister Muloni said the three main international oil companies operating in Uganda — French major Total SAthe UK-based independent Tullow (LSE:TLW) and China’s CNOOC – are very satisfied with the high success rate in finding reserves and low cost of exploration.

Minister Muloni said the country is very aware of the pitfalls of oil revenue windfalls, or so-called “oil curse” on developing economies so Uganda “is coming at this stage when have the opportunity to look at those who succeeded and those that have challenges.  We are trying to pick the best practices from the area so that we have a way to manage our resources to they can be a blessing.”

She said that as part of the effort to bring best practices to Uganda, the country has instituted new legislation and a regulatory authority regarding the management and tendering of new oil and gas exploration permits.

“A good number of international companies have expressed interest, but they waiting for when we open the bidding rounds — so they can come in,” she said, adding. “We are trying to put into place a regulator to insure the sector is properly and transparently managed.  That is why we have put a hold on bidding until the new law is in place, which has been achieved.  We think by the end of the year the regulator should be in place, we have data for some of the blocks, some of the areas do not have data.  So we are trying seismic surveys so that there is basic data so when they open up bidding rounds, people are able to compete.”

Minister Muloni studied electrical engineering at Makerere University than earned a MBA from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

From 2002 to 2011,From 2002 until 2011, Irene Muloni worked as the chief executive officer of the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL). By PK Semler in Houston, For more information, please call +1202-549-3399 or email pks@capitolintelgroup.com Copyright of Capitol Intelligence Group, INC. – Turning Swords into Equity ()