Research for the 2021 edition of NRGI's Resource Governance Index has begun. The index measures the governance of oil, gas and mining sectors in resource-producing countries and provides freely available public data to help inform evidence-based decision-making.
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.
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.
For years, Tanzania learned lessons in effective petroleum resource revenue management from Ghana and Uganda. During the latest regional media training course from NRGI, Tanzania’s recent stewardship of the sector presented lessons for Ugandan and Ghanaian journalists to take home.
With the Open Government Partnership Global Summit coming up 7-9 December in Paris, government reformers and civil society campaigners working on the extractives and land sectors will be pleased to see that contract transparency and environmental disclosure will likely feature in the summit outcome document.