Tanzania and Uganda say they have signed a three and a half billion dollar oil deal in three key agreements aimed at developing Uganda’s oil and gas industry.
The two countries signed the deal during Tanzanian new president Samia Suluhu Hassan’s first trip outside her country to Uganda. The two countries are hoping the project will bring socio-economic benefits and revenues to the region through creation of an estimated 10,000 jobs during construction and operation of the project.
The two countries entered a partnership to build a pipeline to pump Uganda’s oil from the Albertine Basin in the west of the country, to Tanzania’s Indian Ocean Port of Tanga.
When built, the pipeline project will be the longest heated oil pipeline in the world. A final investment decision – a commitment of funds – will have to be reached by the two countries and oil companies before the pipeline construction can begin.
The agreement on host government and shareholding for the pipeline, as well as the transportation and tax deals, are a step towards the start of construction of the crude oil pipeline.
But the project has been met with fierce criticism from environmentalists, who say that it will upset fragile ecosystems in the Lake Victoria Basin and the Serengeti Wildlife Park.
Uganda is projected to pump its first of an estimated 1.4 billion barrels of commercially viable oil in 2025.
Mali Union Embarks On Four-Day General Strike Over Pay
Workers in Mali have embarked on a strike in what is reported to have paralysed economic activities in the country since Monday.
The National Workers’ Union of Mali (UNTM) began a four-day strike to demand better living and working conditions after negotiations with the interim government over wages, bonuses and allowances failed. The strike is said to be widely observed.
Among other demands, the Malian civil servants also want all teachers in community schools to be integrated into the public service.
National workers’ union has warned that the strike was “renewable through next week, and would be unlimited from the week of May the 28th.
The union has asked its activists to remain mobilized and determined for the full success of the strike. The Malian national workers union UNTM which brings together several associations and unions from the public service is the largest trade union in Mali.
UNTM represents teachers, gold miners, health workers and various essential services.
Recent months have seen mounting public anger over the slow pace of socio-economic and security reforms by Mali’s transitional government.
Several other strike notices have also been issued and the opposition movement that galvanized protests that topped former president Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta also intends to resume demonstrations.
Mali’s interim prime minister has been charged with appointing a new government following his resignation and subsequent reinstatement on 14 May.
Uganda To Share Intelligence With Congo On Islamist Rebels
Uganda said on Monday it has reached an agreement with neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to share intelligence and coordinate a new push to combat Islamist rebels who have been blamed for worsening violence in DR Congo`s east.
A week ago, officials said the two countries would set up an operations centre in eastern DR Congo to fight the rebels, known as the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).
Spokeswoman for the Uganda people’s defence forces Brigadier Flavia Byekwaso said there will be coordination, sharing intelligence, sharing information and all sorts of security nature kind of activities.
The United Nations said the violence in eastern DRC killed 850 persons last year.
In March, the United States labelled the ADF a foreign terrorist organization because of alleged links to the Islamic state group.
South Africa Begins Second Phase Of COVID-19 Vaccination
South Africa says it has begun second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations targeting people 60 years and older. It is also aiming to finish vaccinating the country’s 1.2 million healthcare workers this week.
The health ministry said it was avoiding long queues in the second phase of the vaccine rollout by using an electronic vaccination data system – where people would register online and receive instructions through a text message.
South Africa plans to inoculate five million citizens by the end of June. The nation has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Africa – with more than one and a half million infections and 55,000 deaths.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said the country was due to receive 325,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday, making the total doses of the Pfizer vaccine nearly one million.
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