China invites Uganda for talks on crude oil pipeline project financing

(Dispatch, Kampala, 5 April 2024) Uganda’s presidency confirmed that China has extended an invitation to Uganda’s Energy minister to visit Beijing for discussions on the country’s $5 billion 1,445-km (898-mile) crude oil pipeline project. This development offers hope for progress in Uganda’s efforts to secure Chinese financing for the pipeline, crucial for kickstarting crude production from oilfields discovered back in 2006. The potential involvement of Chinese funding gains significance as Western banks have refrained from financing the project following pressure from environmentalists, citing concerns over its impact on global carbon emissions. Prior discussions between Uganda and the Chinese export credit agency SINOSURE regarding potential funding for the project had been ongoing. However, several deadlines for concluding these talks had passed without reaching a resolution. Meanwhile, construction activities for the pipeline have commenced, involving the transportation of pipes and other materials to designated sites in both Tanzania and Uganda.