Extractive sector policies and governance choices are holding back solar and wind projects in many countries. Part of the trouble lies in the shortsighted habits of political decision-making that oil, gas or coal exploitation can foster. Debates about domestic energy use are highly political and can fall prey to narrow agendas.
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.
Last year’s meeting in Cape Town was overshadowed by pessimism in the wake of tumbling commodity prices and organizers tried to boost morale by encouraging participants to look “beyond the cycle.” But this year the buzz word for multilaterals was sustainability.
Since 2013, the EITI Standard has “encouraged” public disclosure of contracts. And while it is difficult to attribute causality to policy change, since the release of the 2013 EITI Standard, nine new countries released contracts, and nine enacted laws that require contract disclosure.