Billion dollar investments in African fossil fuels are not the kind of news that we normally cover here at Gaelick, but bear with me. Remember back in October, when Gooner reported on the new Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill?
Well sadly, it hasn’t gone away. And while it’s been covered in the press, and a handful of politicans around the world have spoken out against it, opposition to the bill that would execute homosexuals, incarcerate those who speak up for homosexuals and those who fail to report homosexuals they know, hasn’t picked up much speed in Uganda.
Tullow Oil’s founder and CEO is Aidan Heavey, originally from just outside Clane, County Kildare. He brags that he is the “longest serving CEO of a FTSE 100 company” and has “shaken hands with 15 African presidents.” He started Tullow Engineering from nothing, after working as an accountant and financial controller at Aer Lingus.
Over the past year, oil and gas explorer and producer Tullow has more than doubled its stock market value to £8.7bn, tripled its global workforce to 850, including 400 in the UK and climbed to 32nd in the FTSE 100 index.
From the Telegraph.co.uk
An article on Zibb.com says that Mr Heavey has already met with the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni, last Friday.
As John McGuirk says in his blog,
But companies, like nations and individuals, should also be held accountable for their decisions. It’s disappointing that an Irish business would choose to put so much money into a country that is going down this path.
I’d like to see the Irish LGBTQ community call on Mr Heavey to use the influence he obviously has in Uganda. We need to call on him to show that his investment is not only oil, but also in Uganda’s most precious natural resources, the people of Uganda, all the people of Uganda, even those who are gay.
OK I looked it up. The motto under the crest of his home county of Kildare is “Meanma agus Misneach”, which, according to Google Translate, means Morale and Courage.
What do you guys think? Can we make a difference to Uganda’s gays?
You can contact the Irish offices of Tullow Oil here.