Journalists covering oil, gas and mining topics, especially in challenging jurisdictions, often face ethical dilemmas. NRGI continues to work to equip them with the skills they need to navigate these tricky spaces.
Tanzania passed sweeping new laws for its extractives sector in 2017 with the objective of getting a larger share of the benefits from its mineral and gas deposits. Among other significant changes, these laws increased taxation of the mining sector.
At Wits University’s three-day African Investigative Journalism Conference in October, NRGI staff and four NRGI media fellows from Nigeria and Tanzania developed a deeper sense of how the media landscape in Africa is changing—particularly as it relates to oil, gas and mining reporting.
In 2017, after a decade of working with journalists, NRGI crafted a new strategy for media programming, leveraging lessons from its development programs and considering broader learning and trends in the field.
Across the world, journalists have been key to uncovering malfeasance in the natural resources sector. Media have exposed illicit activities by international oil companies like Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria. They have shed light on Cameroon petroleum contracts that bring few benefits to locals and to national accounts.
Unlike in the resource-rich country in the film Black Panther, much of Africa’s mining sector is currently dominated by foreign direct investment; its raw minerals are often exported with limited local participation in the sector and tax revenues are eroded.
NRGI set out to collect total oil, gas and mining revenue data for the countries included in the Resource Governance Index to find out how many dollars flow to governments that mismanage the handling of their natural resources.