Extractive Industries Program
Oxfam's Extractive industries program Context
Oil exploration companies have identified at least 20 economically significant oil fields in western Uganda estimated to hold between 1.5 and 2.5 billion barrels of oil. If fully developed, this could place Uganda among the foremost African oil producers. In recent years the Ugandan government has also accelerated licensing of mining operations. Vast deposits of gold, uranium, copper, and rare earth minerals have been discovered in areas with some of the highest rates of poverty in the country like Karamoja.
With this mining and oil boom, Ugandans are voicing concerns about:
- Lack of information on the actual existence and location of minerals
- Effects that mining-induced land speculation will have on their access and retention of pastoral and customary lands
- Lack of information on oil contracts, despite companies like Tullow supporting contract transparency
- Secrecy around revenues generated by the mining companies, how much of that revenue is paid to government, and how it is spent
- Capacity within the government to negotiate fair revenue sharing deals with mining and oil companies
- Lack of policies to compensate or resettle those people affected by the mining sector.
Oxfam in Uganda working towards attaining Natural resource Justice
Oxfam in Uganda’s Extractive Industries work is aligned with the Oxfam International (OI) Extractive Industries Strategy (2016-19), premised on achieving Natural Resource Justice.
Specifically in Uganda, our efforts aim at contributing to two OI Focus Goals;
- Governments and companies increase financial transparency and pro-poor accountability for Extractives Industries revenue generation and expenditure, and
- Governments and companies adopt and implement laws and policies respecting Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC).
Uganda’s nascent mining and oil activities have direct and indirect implications across the country programme. The entire mineral value chain affects women, men, and children differently. The differences also influence the capacities of groups to engage with mining and oil companies and the different levels of government. Addressing land access disputes, gender imbalances, citizen’s rights to information, and lifting the shroud of secrecy in the mineral sector, are some of our key priorities.
Presently, Oxfam in Uganda is implementing a two-year project with support from the MacArthur Foundation with two main components;
Advocacy on the proposed East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP)
The goal is Improved protection and promotion of community rights to land, consultation, resettlement and compensation for petroleum pipeline affected communities.
- Civil society actors in Uganda and Tanzania have increased knowledge of pipeline details, impacts and risk areas and effectively generate and implement a cross-country strategy for engagement.
- Civil society and community-based actors have increased knowledge and awareness of the policy framework for compulsory land acquisition, compensation and resettlement in Uganda.
- External pipeline stakeholders including financiers and implementing companies have greater awareness and understanding of relevant land, resettlement and compensation issues in Uganda and adhere to high standards for community engagement during pipeline development and construction.
- Civil society and community-based actors effectively advocate for increased protections for community land rights, consultation, resettlement and compensation in relevant domestic laws and policies.
- The independent pipeline monitoring committee and local monitors network assist local women, men and youth in pipeline affected communities to effectively and informedly participate in pipeline community engagement processes with increased knowledge of their rights during resettlement and compensation.
- Citizens and especially women are engaging with companies and governments on compensation and resettlement.
Transparency and Accountability in Uganda’s mining sub-sector
The Goal is increased transparency and accountability in Uganda’s subnational mineral revenue sharing system.
- Central government officials in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have increased appreciation of key governance issues in draft mineral sector legislation and civil society recommendations for improvement.
- Increased awareness of detailed mineral revenue chain leakages as well as knowledge of potential remedies and recommendations for improvement.
- Local government leaders and men, women and youth including indigenous populations in mining affected sub-counties have increased knowledge and awareness of mineral sector development in their locality, eligibility for beneficiation, impacts and rights and engage in formal government processes to better benefit from local mining activity.
- Local governments have increased knowledge and awareness of mineral production and revenue stream
- Policy and institutional strengthening to improve the mining sector
- Citizens are requesting for information about the mineral, oil and gas productions and processes
Oxfam believes that all these efforts will go along way in helping people defend their rights to participate in decisions about natural resources and unlock resource revenues for development that meets their needs hence natural resource justice.