French energy company TotalEnergies announced the commencement of a “land assessment mission” for its oil projects in Uganda and Tanzania, specifically the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and Tilenga. These projects have faced vehement opposition from environmental and human rights advocacy groups. The “assessment mission of the land acquisition program conducted in Uganda and Tanzania for the Tilenga and EACOP projects” will be overseen by Lionel Zinsou, a figure renowned for his expertise in African economic development, as stated in TotalEnergies’ press release.
The move comes amid ongoing concerns and disputes surrounding the environmental and social impacts of the oil projects. TotalEnergies acknowledges the importance of addressing these concerns and has enlisted Zinsou, a respected authority in African economic development, to evaluate the land acquisition aspects of the Tilenga and EACOP initiatives.
The East African Crude Oil Pipeline, a major infrastructure project, has been contested for its potential environmental and social consequences, including displacement of local communities and ecological disruption. Similarly, the Tilenga project, involving oil extraction activities, has faced criticism for its potential impacts on biodiversity and local livelihoods.