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.
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.
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.