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Curse or blessing? Oil drilling begins in Uganda as black gold spreads in East Africa



As the conversation for a green environment and the move to eco-friendly technology increases across the world, African countries are not giving up yet on oil exploration despite the continent being the biggest victim of pollution from oil fields.

In Uganda, East Africa, government officials have revealed that oil drilling has begun in a Chinese-operated field as the country expects to start production by 2025.

The commencement of the construction of the oil pipeline described the project as the world’s longest-heated oil pipeline. between Uganda and Tanzania has been announced.
“Today is not the first oil, but it certainly is a big step in the right direction. It’s the day when we commission the drilling of the wells that will lead us to commercial production”, Nabbanja said.

The Managing Director of East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline,  Martin Tiffen, also explained that “oil from Kingfisher will go northwards – 50 kilometres  – to Kabaale as will the oil from the Tilenga development will come south 100 kilometres to Kabaale, which is the starting point for the EACOP (East African Crude Oil Pipeline) pipeline and they will be transported onwards to Tanga where it can then be exported to world markets. So the three projects, Kingfisher, Tilenga, and EACOP, they really go hand-in-glove together, you can’t have one without the other.

The pipeline has to transport the oil and the oil has to be produced here so the three projects are tightly interlinked”, Tiffen explained.

Estimates put oil reserves at 3.5 to 4 billion (159-liter) barrels on the Ugandan side of Lake Albert and around 2 billion on the Congolese side, while Kenya’s 1 billion or so barrels worth of oil is spread across several oil fields in the north of the country.

Musings From Abroad

US ‘actively’ working to re-establish relations with Libya – State Department



The United States has revealed that it is “actively” working to re-establish a diplomatic presence in Libya following a season of ruptured ties between the countries.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who currently concluded a visit to Africa said on Wednesday but declined to provide an exact time on when the U.S. embassy can be reopened.

Blinken revealed this at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday.

“I can’t give you a timetable other than to say that this is something we’re very actively working on. I want to see us be able to re-establish an ongoing presence in Libya.”

“There’s also an important moment where through the work of the UN envoy, there may be, and I emphasize maybe, a path forward to moving Libya in a better direction including getting election for legitimate government, and our diplomats are deeply engaged in that,” Blinken added.

Assistant Secretary Barbara Leaf, the top diplomat for the Middle East and North Africa, is currently touring the region, traveling to Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia March 15-25.

Leaf will meet with senior Libyan officials “to underscore U.S. support for UN-facilitated efforts to promote consensus leading to elections in 2023.”

The United States works with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) and other international partners to support Libya’s democratic transition, including through national elections.

Relations between the US and Libya predate independence. Before independence in 1951, the US had already developed a significant economic and military presence on its soil.

But the relations have remained turbulent ever since the 19th century. The US shut its embassy in Tripoli in 2014 and moved its mission to neighboring Tunis following intensifying violence between rival factions. U.S. Special Envoy for Libya, Richard Norland, has operated out of the Tunisian capital and taken occasional trips into Libya.

The North African country is strategic in the global economy as its oil reserves are the largest in Africa and among the ten largest globally.

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President Ramaphosa wants review of South Africa’s constitution. Here’s why



President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has called for a review of the country’s 26-year-old constitution to determine its efficiency and whether it has “served the aspirations of our people”.

The president has had his reign threatened with scandals like the Farmgate, the continued failure in the power sector, and anti-government protests by the opposition, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party.

President Ramaphosa suggested that there was a need to reflect on laws that had been passed “since the beginning of our post-revolutionary period”.

He made the position while delivering the keynote address on the first day of the three-day national conference on the Constitution titled “Reflections and the Road Ahead”, saying a lot of progress had been made in redressing the injustices of the past since the Constitution came into effect.

“Despite numerous achievements, there are still many challenges in the realisation of the vision, values, and prescripts of our Constitution,” he said.

“The persistently high levels of poverty, unemployment, inequality, corruption, and violence show that our journey to the promised land is far from over.

“The contours of our racist and sexist past still feature in private and public institutions, in business, in access to skills, wealth, and opportunity, and in the spatial configuration of our cities, towns, and rural areas.”

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was approved by the Constitutional Court (CC) on 4 December 1996 and took effect on 4 February 1997.  It is the supreme law of the land. No other law or government action can supersede the provisions of the Constitution.

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