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.
Women are still highly underrepresented in politics worldwide. However, over the last decades, many African countries have adopted different legal measures aimed to ensure a better gender balance in legislatures. Rwanda, for example, has the highest percentage of women in parliament in the world.
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.
Tolonen’s research focuses on how natural resources affect labor markets, criminal behavior, health and social welfare, and, in particular, gender inequality. Tolonen also focuses on the economics of gender in the household and child health in developing countries.