Uganda and Tanzania have approved an agreement to start building crude oil pipeline from Hoima to Tanga Port.

The East African Crude Oil Pipe Line Agreement (EACOP) has been signed as an expression of intent to proceed with the construction of the 1,400kms oil pipe line from Hoima district in Western Uganda to the Tanzanian Port of Tanga.

The agreement was signed after bilateral talks between the Ugandan Preseident Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart, President John Pombe Magufuli.

The project is expected to support the economies of both the East African countries and it has been considered as one of the strategic ways to integrate East African Community and to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.

Currently there is a potential of 6.5 million barrels of petroleum oil in Uganda, which can economically transform the country. Tanzania’s support will help to undertake the project at a faster rate.

Museveni stated that Tanzania has historically been a peaceful and stable country and this has been one of the factors to consider the pipeline project. Another factor is that that Tanga port is a protected area and the ocean poses no threat to the pipeline as well.

The transport of oil is expected to be beneficial for East African Airlines, which can use the aviation fuel obtained from the oil refining process and can reduce the dependence on imported fuels.

Museveni said: "Africa is huge and we need air transport to start using its own jet fuel. Our tourism industry is also big and we need this fuel to transport tourists. Very soon, we shall be able to compete with the Gulf region.”

Tanzania President Magufuli stated that the project will also create employment in both the countries and can also become a good source of revenue for both the countries. The pipeline can result in reduction in fuel prices in both the countries.

Image: Uganda and Tanzania sign agreement on oil pipeline. Photo: Courtesy of Kevin Abbott/