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Resource Governance Index: Sub-Saharan Africa Highlights

  • Briefing

  • 31 January 2019

The Resource Governance Index shows good practices and areas of reform in 28 African countries

Transparency and accountability help countries realize the benefits of mining, oil and gas. The 2017 Resource Governance Index shows that in Africa, where according to the African Development Bank, 30 percent of the world’s mineral resources are found, there is great variance in transparency between and within countries. To improve on their index scores, and more importantly, to facilitate public debate, manage expectations and negotiate sustainable deals, governments in countries where mining is economically important can publish information on mining contracts and social and environmental impacts. And while many have made progress on revenue transparency, they could release more timely and detailed data on payments made to governments, including at the local level, and how the monies are used for development. Companies, too, can release such information to the public.

In most countries, resource governance practices lag behind improved laws

Over the past decade, many African countries have adopted new oil, gas and mining laws in attempts to attract investment while ensuring governments and citizens benefit. Increased provisions for transparency and accountability in these laws result in Africa’s legal frameworks scoring on par with other regions in the 2017 Resource Governance Index. But benefits of a robust legal framework materialize only when rules are implemented and enforced. Contrasting the results for laws and actual practices on the ground, 26 out of the 28 countries assessed perform better when it comes to legislated rules than practices, and this gap is wider in sub-Saharan Africa than

in any other region. Better compliance and enforcement would increase trust between stakeholders, help minimize conflicts and ensure equitable sharing of benefits.

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