Norwegian Ambassador to Uganda Thorbjoslashrn Gaustadsaeligther has said providing Ugandans with timely information concerning developments in oil and gas industry is vital in promoting transparency and good governance writes BAZ WAISWA.
The envoy was recently speaking at a multi-stakeholder oil and gas dialogue organized by Uganda Revenue Authority and Transparency International Uganda at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala.
The dialogue under the theme transparency is key to business growth and national development attracted oil companies, civil society organizations, government agencies among other stakeholders.
The Norwegian rep to Uganda stated that the country should make it a priority to strengthen information sharing and public debate because people need to understand things before they happen.
The ambassador revealed that information flow is a challenge not only in Uganda but in many oil producing countries across the globe.
“Information and upfront discussions prevent suspicions and misunderstandings, and at the worst end of the scale, it prevents conflict,” Gaustadsaeligther counseled.
When asked in an interview his assessment of transparency in the oil
and gas industry in Uganda Gaustadsaeligther described the situation in Uganda as work in progress which they (Norwegian) want to be able to assist.
“What I have seen is positive. I do find political rhetoric in Uganda quite positive, authorities appreciate that resources have to benefit people,” he said
He continued: “But the challenge is to provide information to people in the early stages.”
He added that oil companies need to be responsible by engaging members of society through training, CSR programs and need to understand that they have to work with Ugandans.
He specified that by harmonizing its domestic legislations with the new international transparency and accountability standards, Uganda would establish itself as a world leader in the field of transparency, anticorruption and corporate governance.
Source : East African Business Week