Uganda to borrow $145mn for infrastructure upgrade ahead of oil production

The Uganda government has said it will borrow $145 million for revamping infrastructure in the Albertine region part of $320 million to be sought from World Bank’s arm the International Development Association (IDA) as it prepares to start oil production by latest 2018.

According to Minister of Information and National Guidance Rose Namayanja the cabinet has already approved the proposal by the finance minister.

“Some $145 million will be invested in the rolling out of development infrastructure and social services in the Albertine region,” said Namanja.

Namanja says the money is needed for especially the revamping of social facilities with the areas witnessing a surge in population as people seek to benefit from the oil discovery.

“This will greatly contribute to rapid economic growth and poverty reduction in the Albertine region in particular,” Namayanja said.

According to Uganda’s official statistics bureau the region has a total population of 2.85 million.

The other 175 million according to the minister will be used in implementing the Second Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project that will upgrade road designs with better pedestrian walkways and street lighting.

Following the approval by cabinet the proposal the matter heads to parliament which she said the cabinet is hopeful will support it.

The loan will surely raise the country’s external debt that currently stands at $5.85 billion for the period ending June 2011 while total domestic debt stands at 11.5 percent of GDP.

World Bank is a major lender to the country with concessional loans from the institution accounting for over 90 percent of the country’s multilateral debt with other major players being the African Development Bank and the Africa Development Fund account.

Uganda has discovered reserves amounting to 3.5 billion barrels of oil under Tullow Oil, China’s CNOOC and Total.


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