Civil society organisations in East Africa have expressed concerns over the discovery of oil and gas in the region, saying if there are no proper arrangements exploration of the precious resources may trigger conflict and political violence in the region. Speaking at a seminar involving different representatives of civil society organisations from Africa recently, Advocate Coalition for Development and Environment (Acode) executive-director Godber Tumushabe said poor management in exploration of gas and oil had caused conflict and political violence in various African countries such as Nigeria, Sudan and Libya.
The seminar was organised under the theme, “a changing role of civil society in a changing political environment”. “East African countries cannot avoid negative impacts triggered by the exploration of gas and oil unless they put in place proper arrangements that will guide the volatile sector and make the region free from any related curses,” Tumushabe said.
He noted, “My reading of what is going on currently in Uganda is that we have already set ourselves up for a potential oil curse.” The activist and policy analyst said the region needed to be prepared before embarking on gas and oil exploration.