Despite improvements in the governance of Uganda’s natural resources, its nascent oil and gas sector — as well as that of mining — are still classified as weak, with widening gaps between the laws and practice, that could impact the country’s push for transparency, a new index reveals.
The 2021 Resource Governance Index (RGI) released on September 2, shows Uganda scored 49 points — an improvement by five points in 2017 — in the petroleum sector, while in mining it registered 55 points.
The index, published by the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI), said the higher score for oil and gas is driven by improvements in revenue transparency, governance of Uganda National Oil Company and reporting on the Petroleum Fund.
“Despite the positive upward trend, challenges remain, placing the governance of Uganda’s oil and gas sector in the ‘weak’ performance band of the RGI,” said the index.
For instance, oil and gas licensing received a “failing” score, hampered by the absence of a cadastre, lack of beneficial ownership rules on public disclosures and the government’s failure to disclose contracts with oil and gas companies.