Fuelling Growth: Uganda’s Strategic Partnership with UAE Firm in Oil Refinery Project

Oil Refinery Project

Uganda selects Alpha MBM Investments as the top bidder for its $4 billion Hoima oil refinery, aiming for a daily production of 60,000 barrels to enhance energy security. 

The shareholding structure designates 60% to the developer and 40% to the Ugandan government.

Uganda chose Alpha MBM for its $4 billion refinery project due to financial challenges with a previous consortium and the appeal of UAE-based investment, recognizing Uganda’s untapped market potential.

When assessing developers for Uganda’s $4 billion refinery project, factors like technical expertise, financial capability, and project timelines played a vital role. 

The government chose Alpha MBM Investments in January 2024, following challenges in previous negotiations related to financing.

Uganda aims to revamp its energy infrastructure to provide affordable and reliable energy for domestic use, attract foreign investors, and fulfill climate commitments.

The Uganda Energy Transition Plan prioritizes sustainable energy transformation, higher annual energy investments, and private sector engagement to achieve universal access to modern energy.

Uganda is advancing its energy sector through technological and efficiency improvements, emphasizing the expansion of renewable sources like geothermal and small hydro projects.

The country is also working to increase private sector involvement in power sector operations and future development efforts.

The Energy Transition Plan underscores Uganda’s commitment to being a strong regional partner, aiming to establish itself as an energy hub for East Africa.

This signals Uganda’s key role in enhancing regional energy security and cooperation to meet the growing demand for energy in neighboring countries.

Uganda’s clean energy efforts make it a regional leader in quality energy data. Abundant energy resources offer opportunities for collaboration within the region.

Uganda’s push to diversify energy sources and improve infrastructure could reshape regional energy dynamics, creating opportunities for collaboration and trade in the sector.


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The discovery of oil presents a unique opportunity to transform the economy through infrastructure development and poverty alleviation.

To overcome economic challenges, Uganda is prioritizing agribusiness, enhancing farmers’ access to markets and credit, and implementing improved land policies.

There is also a focus on attracting private investment in labor-intensive industries to create jobs, particularly for the youth, and encourage continuous skills development.

The government focuses on strengthening the private sector, improving education and skills, enhancing the business environment, and leveraging economic integration and trade.

Efforts to enhance infrastructure and attract foreign investments impact regional diplomatic ties, especially in the East African Community.

Uganda’s assertive foreign policy has made neighboring countries cautious about regional integration.

Security dynamics, especially collaboration with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) against groups like the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), impact Uganda’s regional diplomatic ties.

The African Union is likely to play a role in promoting cooperation between Uganda and the DRC, emphasizing the importance of regional collaboration in addressing security challenges.

The UAE significantly influences geopolitical dynamics in East Africa, particularly in energy infrastructure development. 


Its diverse economic activities and investments, including infrastructure projects, highlight its regional impact. 

A detailed analysis of the UAE’s investments in the East African energy sector is necessary for a comprehensive understanding, especially regarding Uganda’s energy infrastructure.

In the insurance market, collaboration is underway to address challenges like low insurance uptake and promote innovation. 

Uganda’s digital transformation offers economic opportunities, but challenges like limited access to capital and rising unemployment necessitate collaborative solutions. 

Uganda’s expanding research and development ecosystem underscores the importance of international collaboration and heightened government investment. 

Overcoming persistent challenges is crucial for long-term development in this sector.

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