Kampala, Uganda - President Yoweri Museveni announced on Sunday that Uganda has discovered oil after years of exploration in the country's west and will soon begin production and start building an oil refinery. He pledged to use the resource to fund development in the country.
Museveni's announcement was the first acknowledgement by a government official that Uganda has oil reserves, bringing it into Africa's oil producing club alongside countries like Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and Chad, although with far fewer barrels.
The president said that he expected production to begin in 2009, with initial production of 6 000-10 000 barrels a day.
By comparison, Nigeria, Africa's biggest producer of crude, can produce around 2,5-million barrels per day, but has seen a drop-off of around 20 percent this year because of militant attacks on pipelines and kidnappings of oil workers.
Museveni gave no details of how the oil will be produced, and did not say whether the fields will be put up for bidding or if the government will do the exploitation itself. The president said only that Uganda has studied various oil production contracts around the world.