- Jul 5, 2011
AFRICAN UNION WATCH
AFRICAN UNION WATCH
Thinking ahead for Africa
Public Policy Analysis
Strategic Insight and Objective Analysis Practical and Effective Solutions
Banjul, The Gambia, 20 September 2022
Hon Roberta Metsola,
The European Parliament, BRUSSELS, BELGIUM.
Hon Ursula von der Leyen
The President of the European Commission
Honourable Lady and Gentleman,
AFRICAN UNION WATCH STATEMENT IN THE WAKE OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT RESOLUTION AGAINST THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE EACOP PIPELINE FROM HOIMA, UGANDA TO TANGA, TANZANIA.
African Union Watch is a Pan African independent Non-Government Organisation, based in Banjul, the Gambia, dedicated to the promotion of Pan Africanism, and promotion of human rights, political and economic good governance on the African Continent. It conducts advocacy on issues of concern to its membership and the African people in Africa and the Diaspora, arising from the vestiges of imperialism, colonization, discrimination and dehumanization suffered through six centuries of slavery, wars of occupation and plunder of African resources. The effects of brutal suppression and marginalization wrought on the African people by years of European colonization and domination, is still evident today.
African Union Watch is very much concerned by the recent Resolution 2022/2826/RSP adopted by the European Parliament on 14 September 2022 calling on the member States of the European Union to in effect punish Tanzania and Uganda for embarking on an ambitious pipeline project to extract crude oil from Uganda and transport it to foreign markets through the pipeline that is currently been built between the two countries.
We wish to draw the attention of the European Parliament to the fact that since the early 1970s at the height of the southern African liberation struggle, Tanzania and Zambia built a pipeline that has continued to serve landlocked Zambia, without experiencing any such challenges that the EU Parliament is raising in respect of eh EACOP. The TAZAMA pipeline still operates to-date.
African Union Watch is much aware of efforts by local Civil Society organization to hold the governments of Uganda and Tanzania accountable to their human rights and environmental protection responsibilities. The companies responsible for the EACOP project have been implementing the project while observing high human rights and environmental standards to ensure that the project does not pollute water sources and displace populations on a large scale from the land that the pipeline will traverse, and where necessary compensation has been paid or will be paid.
It is with this background that the European Parliament Resolution adopted on 14 September 2022 condemning the EACOP project, has come as very disturbing development. The European Parliament has no direct jurisdictional basis to discuss African implementation of economic development projects. Its reliance on international human rights instruments to condemn the EACOP project is a cover to negate the economic development aspirations of Uganda and Tanzania and their people.
The resolution reference to the Tanga coast as a Tsunami risk zone is preposterous. The only leverage that the European Parliament and institutions such as the European Union Commission has on the African continent is purely based on diplomatic engagements and economic cooperation arrangements that the European Union has with African States and institutions.
African Union Watch abhors the self-serving European Parliament Resolution as ultra vires its own powers and is an interference into African affairs.
African States have the right to political and economic self-determination. Uganda and Tanzania, as well as other African States have the rights to extract and use their natural resources for their own development while enjoying their Right to Development. No wonder the debate in the West on African development characterizes Africa as a European back yard. This discourse is based on the presumption that Africa is a source of raw material to the West in perpetuity.
It is our view that the European Parliament Resolution if accepted will in effect lead to the frustration of African States’ efforts to consolidate our independence, and free ourselves from dependence on the former colonial powers. Such a discourse aims at holding Africa States and their people to perpetual poverty is unacceptable.
We are very much aware of the effect of carbon emissions arising from the use of fossil fuels, and its effect on climate change. Yet it is also true that Africa is not a major polluter compared to the developing world.
We call on the European Parliament to ensure that the best technology is supplied to African States to ensure that they continue exploiting their resources. This would be positive multi-lateral cooperation, unlike the condemnation by the European Parliament.
African countries suffer from disproportionate energy poverty. African countries can only eliminate such deficiency if they deploy all the energy resources at their disposal, including the crude oil from Hoima. We are aware that Europe is considering resumption of power generation using coal, because of the consequences of the conflict in Ukraine.
If Europeans can resume the use of coal, a high pollutant, because of the conflict in Ukraine, so is the more reason that, faced with the challenges of development and poverty in Africa, we shall continue to use our resources to address those challenges.
We urge the European Parliament to revoke its abhorrent Resolution.
Accept the assurances of my highest consideration.
Adv. Bahame Tom Mukirya Nyanduga
Chairperson, a.i. AU Watch
Office of the President of the Republic of Uganda Kampala, Uganda.
Office of the President of the United Republic of Tanzania State House, Dodoma, Tanzania.
Tuwashukuru wenzetu katika Afrika kwa kuona uingiliaji kati katika miradi ya waafrika ili kujikomboa an umasikini.
Kumbe wengi wameuona upuuzi was wazungu kutoka European Union.