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Museveni and Magufuli ink oil pipeline deal

President Yoweri Museveni interacts with Tanzanian President John Magufuli shortly after a bilateral meeting at the Arusha state lodge in Tanzania. FILE PHOTO | ABU MWESIGWA
President Yoweri Museveni interacts with Tanzanian President John Magufuli shortly after a bilateral meeting at the Arusha state lodge in Tanzania. FILE PHOTO | ABU MWESIGWA 

Tanzanian President John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni on Sunday signed an agreement to begin construction of the crude oil pipeline from Hoima to Tanga Port.

According to a statement issued by Tanzania's State House, the two leaders signed a communique agreeing to start construction of the East African Crude Oil pipeline (EACOP) project from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania.

"The issues of the Hoima-Tanga pipeline are agreed and resolved," the statement said, adding that the signing was witnessed by ministers, senior government officials from different institutions which are involved in the project.

The two countries have been negotiating how to proceed with the EACOP project after the east African countries agreed in April last year to the pipeline going through Tanzania and not Kenya as had been earlier planned.

The communique signed in Dar es Salaam adds that a date for the two presidents to lay a foundation stone at either Hoima or Tanga will be arranged as soon as possible.

The two presidents asked the ministers responsible for energy in Uganda and Tanzania to sign the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) this Friday, May 27 in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

The 1,443-kilometre crude oil pipeline worth $3.55 billion will be able to transport 200,000 litres of oil per day once the project starts its operation. The project will be able to generate employment between 6,000 and 10,000 people.

Tanzanian President Magufuli described the project as important for the development of the two countries and east African region in general. Uganda's President described Tanga Port as key because of its geographical location and security.

He said that the project will also make fuel cheaper hence foster aviation industry, whereby regional airlines will get cheaper jet fuel. Ugandan leader has been in Dar es Salaam since Saturday, where Magufuli handed over to him the chairmanship of the East African Community (EAC).

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