DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzanian Pres John Magufuli and his Ugandan counterpart, Yoweri Museveni, will this weekend lay a foundation stone for the construction of the East African crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda to Tanga Port in Tanzania.

A statement availed to the media by the Director of Presidential Communication, Gerson Msigwa, said that the heads of State are scheduled to lay the foundation stone on Saturday Aug 5.

The statement said that the construction of the 1,403-kilometre pipeline is one of the major projects which the country has secured and commence its implementation since the fifth phase government came into power on November 5, 2015.

'This is a major project whose implementation will cost 3.5 billion US dollars (about 8.7 trillion/-),' Msigwa said. He said that the construction of the pipeline is expected to avail about 10,000 jobs and Tanzanians will be main beneficiaries of the employment opportunities.

It said that both Tanzania and Uganda will benefit through various taxes and levies, royalties and other business activities which will emerge from the project.

Msigwa called upon Tanzanians to take part during the event by watching live broadcasts on radio, television and social media and also make follow ups on various adverts in relation to the ceremony.

We hope that Tanga residents will turn up in large numbers to join the two presidents during the ceremony to mark the major project for both countries, Msigwa said in the statement.

Last year, Uganda chose the Tanzanian route to export its crude oil amid competition from Kenya, which also wanted to clinch the deal to transport oil to yet to be constructed Lamu Port in North-Eastern Kenya.

Museveni made the decision to construct the pipeline through Tanzania during the 13th Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) summit in Kampala, which was also attended by President Paul Kagame and Uhuru Kenyatta of Rwanda and Kenya, respectively.

The envisaged pipeline through Tanzania will be of benefit not only to Uganda and Tanzania, but also other countries in the region such as Kenya, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The envisaged 24-inch conduit to cover 1,403 kilometres is expected to convey 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day for exports. The project is expected to create 15,000 jobs during its execution after which upon completion it will employ between 1,000 and 2,000 people.

It will pass through Kagera, Geita, Shinyanga, Tabora and Singida to Tanga. Uganda has so far discovered 6.5 billion barrels of the precious liquid along the Lake Albert basin. The first finding was made by Hardman Resources in 2006 which was later acquired by Tullow Oil.