By Hussein Boffu
The proposed pipeline designed to carry crude oil from the Hoima-Uganda oil field to Tanga port in Tanzania is a great move.
But let’s ask ourselves, “How do we increase opportunities for women and minority-owned businesses on the pipeline project?”
Basically, how do we increase job opportunities for women on the proposed pipeline project?
In many oil-producing countries, women don’t usually participate in the commercial aspects of the pipeline projects.
No offering of goods and services. Because:
1. They were not actively recruited.
2. They were discouraged.
Consequently, women could not get skilled jobs to work on pipeline projects.
Many of those construction works require people with history in the construction industry. And very few women have it.
So, it should be as plain as a day that to enable women acquire jobs to work on the project, a special program must be established for them.
There must be a Women-and-Minority Business Enterprise program. The program should focus on helping qualified women to market their products and services to oil companies and their pipeline contractors.
This will increase employment opportunities for women on the pipeline project.
I totally agree that not every woman can do every kind of job. But there are men of small stature who are still employed to work on pipelines. There are also huge manly women, strong, who still couldn’t get a job. There are men who can’t lift a bag of cement.
Let me clarify.
During pipeline construction, nobody is expected to break his or her back lifting hundred (maybe thousands) of pounds of materials.
That is what cranes, bulldozers, sidebooms, are meant for.
Let’s help our qualified sisters, daughters, and mothers sell products, provide services, and work to benefit the advancement of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project.