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Edmund, you are right. As a country we need to subscribe to the EITI. Uganda has an Oil and Gas Policy. Its been in existence since 2008. Objective VI of the Policy explicitly commits government to subscribe to EITI. More so, in October, there was a special session in the Ugandan Parliament. The session on 11th October passed 10 resolutions. One of the resolutions was that Uganda subscribes to EITI on top of expediting the necessary legal framework. Well the powers that be are still taking their time but as Civil Society we are working together to ensure Uganda subscribes to EITI.

Good article Mukalazi.  An important starting point for Uganda would be to sign up to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative along with 35 other coutnries, including 21 African contires.  This would give citizens reliable information on the amount of money coming in to the government (ie. the citizen's money) from the oil sector.  By establishing a group of government, companies and civil society around the same table, it creates a platform for accountability in the sector. For more see www.eiti.org.

You’re absolutely right that a public knowledge and information deficit is dangerous (as I argued in a similar Monitor piece last August, which I’ve just posted to this site.)   But the technocrats in Uganda’s civil service, many of whom I believe to be hardworking people who are doing the best they can), are in a difficult position.  Who are they accountable to?  The people of Uganda or the elected politicians?   Theoretically both—but in practice to the politicians and, pre-eminently, State House.  Ultimately, it is President Museveni himself who needs to see that public information, participation and debate are an “opportunity” for policy development, not a “threat.”

The Ministry of Energy Communications Team (interesting to know they have one) placed a response in yesterday's papers. It contains interesting revelations. Much as they claim alot of informationn is already in the public domain, they admit the Communication Strategy was fionalised in Jun 2011 but is yet to be tabled to cabinet. One wonders why they are rushing to sign deals with oil companies if they cant rush to finalise and roll out the communication strategy. You can read the whole response at this link: http://tinyurl.com/769ye2d