Ghana and Uganda have been urged to embark upon well strategized processes and programmes that will help maximize profits in the newly discovered oil sector to the total benefit of the citizenry.
The two countries have also been cautioned to avoid bad precedence of some oil producing countries in Africa and rather “view their newly discovered oil and gas industry as an epoch that will propel them to a new socio-economic order,” Mr Jackson Byaruhanga, an Economist with the Ugandan Oil and Gas Local Content Studies Group stated.
Mr Byaruhanga, who was addressing journalists at a training programme on Oil and Gas reporting in Kampala on Wednesday, cautioned the two countries to put up measures that would help them “get it right or might never join the club of wealthy nations”.
He said there was the need for Ghana and Uganda to learn from the experiences of Nigeria’s oil sector to guide them to avoid the mistakes encountered by that country, saying, “Nigeria is a very good example for our countries”
He indicated that the discovery of oil does not necessarily bring prosperity to a nation but it was the right measures and frameworks, including local content that when put in place, could help rise the status of a particular nation and the lives of its people.
According to the Economist, the two countries should not ignore their manufacturing and agricultural sectors, but develop them to avoid the “Dutch Disease Syndrome” which could also collapse other sectors of the economy.
He added that citizens must be given the requisite skills to enable them to fit into the oil sector to improve upon their lives.
The 10-day workshop is being organised by the Revenue Watch Institute in collaboration with Ghanaian-based Penplusbyte International Institute of ICT Journalism and the Thomson Reuters Foundation in UK.
About 16 journalists, from Ghana and Uganda are attending the workshop to help sharpen their skills in oil, gas and mining reporting.