Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
That old Africa oil chestnut is being discussed again: is it a blessing or a curse?
When it comes to Uganda, nobody really knows which way to bet yet and its people often shrug their shoulders when asked what impact it will have.
One reason for that, and a cause of concern for some, is the secrecy surrounding the deals the government has struck with the foreign firms in the country and a lack of transparency around much of the planning ahead of production next year.
The Pearl of Africa discovered oil reserves, now estimated by some to be 2.5 million barrel’s worth, in its Albertine rift basin near Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006.
Rebels fighting for greater control of Nigeria’s oil wealth have raised the stakes in their campaing of bombings and kidnappings by threatening to extend attacks to offshore oil installations. Nigeria’s most prominent militant group earlier announced the launch of an “oil war” against oil companies and security forces in the restive Niger Delta. The four-days of fighting since the announcement have been the heaviest since the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta began its campaign of violence against the oil sector in early 2006. International oil markets, depressed in recent days by the impact of the credit crisis on the global economy, finally began taking notice of the escalating violence in Nigeria’s oil-producing region on Wednesday.
Security sources say more than 100 people may have been killed by the fighting, which has spread to at least seven villages in Rivers state.