KAMPALA May 8 Uganda on Thursday said it wanted
to borrow $145 million from the World Bank to revamp
infrastructure in the Albertine region where it discovered
commercial oil reserves.
East Africa's third-largest economy is eyeing a petrodollar
fuelled boom when it starts pumping crude - expected around 2017
-from a region which straddles the border with the Democratic
Republic of Congo.
"Cabinet approved a proposal by the Ministry of Finance...to
borrow funds for improving infrastructure and social services in
Uganda's Albertine region," said a statement issued by
information minister, Rose Namayanja.
It added the money would be borrowed from the World Bank's
International Development Association (IDA).
Government geologists estimate Uganda's crude reserves at
3.5 billion barrels and China's CNOOC, one of the
three explorers, has already been given a production license.
The statement did not specify which infrastructure the loan
Officials have in past said there was a need to improve the
road network in the region. Uganda aims to export oil via
pipeline through Kenya, but could use trucks at first for
relatively small quantities as the pipeline plans are still in
the early stages.
The statement said oil industry-related activities had
triggered a population surge into towns and cities in the
Albertine region, exerting pressure on existing infrastructure
and social services.
(Reporting by Elias Biryabarema; Editing by Edmund Blair and