BY BANKERS REPORTER
A consortium of five organizations has commissioned two studies to define business opportunities in the agriculture, and housing sectors linked to Uganda’s emerging oil and gas economy, after government signed the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the crude oil pipeline, Tilenga and Kingfisher Oil development projects.
The Consortium of partners includes Stanbic, aBi Finance, Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC), Stanbic Properties Limited, and the Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU).
In one of the agreements signed, Stanbic Bank, aBi Finance, and PAU have agreed to collectively invest over sh350 million to contract the services of EPRC “to define the linkages between Agriculture and oil and sector Development in Uganda.”
The study is expected to estimate the current and future demand and supply, assess status of standards, as well as active agricultural enterprises with potential to harness capacity to ably absorb emerging opportunities linked to the oil and gas economy which is expected to drive demand as the country enters production phase.
Based at Makerere University, EPRC is think-tank specializing in economics and development policy-oriented research and analysis aimed at supporting the formulation, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of government policies.
L-R: Emma Mugisha, Stanbic Bank Executive Director, Sarah Ssewanyana, Executive Director for EPRC, Ernest Rubondo, Executive Director for Petroleum Authority of Uganda and Mona Muguma-Ssebuliba, Chief Executive for aBi Finance, displaying signed MoUs.
Defining housing needs In the second agreement, PAU has contracted Stanbic Properties Uganda Limited to ‘undertake a baseline study and project the future supply and demand of housing, cost and availability of land, cost and availability of building materials and housing preferences and delivery systems in the Albertine region.’
Stanbic Properties will also analyze the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses, risks, and threats in the housing market in the Albertine region and the identified EACOP districts, to establish the current feasible incentives along the housing value chain provided by government, non- government entities and the private sector which can complement investment.
In the agreement, Stanbic Properties has also committed to undertaking studies to help identify areas with land available for housing development and the modalities of land acquisition by investors; and to develop a housing strategy action plan with costed measures, an implementation road map, and an implementation process map for the realization of identified opportunities.
Emma Mugisha, the Stanbic Bank Executive Director said: “It is important for local investors to be guided by research to help them make informed investment decisions.”
Mona Muguma-Ssebuliba, Chief Executive, aBi Finance said, “When finished, the study will hopefully guide in future as to where aBi can make interventions that create the most positive impact for farmers in the vicinity of the oilfields.”
Ernest Rubondo, PAU Executive Director said: “As the regulator, we are always looking out for ideas that ensure greater local participation in the oil and gas sector.
“The supply of foodstuffs is one area where local farmers can become key players. However, this will require them to commercialize their farming methods, particularly by getting together and forming partnerships amongst themselves to benefit from economies of scale that enable higher output to meet the expected high demand.”