Recent Articles

The second Summer School on the Governance of Oil, Gas and Mining Revenues got underway July 14 in Accra and continued through July 23. The training was hosted at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and was co-sponsored by the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI) and the German Technical Corporation (GTZ).

During an intensive "summer school" training session of the Revenue Watch-supported Africa Regional Extractive Industry Knowledge Hub (REIKH), a traditional leader in Ghana's Brong Ahafo region called on the country's government to cancel its mining agreement with Newmont Ghana Limited and take the contract under a second review.
It has been more than a year since Ghanaian President John Atta Mills committed his government to disclosing all existing and future contracts with oil, gas and mining companies. To date, his promise remains unfulfilled. Firm decisions on transparency are increasingly urgent in Ghana, as lawmakers have released proposals for a new petroleum law and there is an increasing national frenzy over oil. In response, this week RWI convened a public conversation in Accra focused exclusively on transparency in oil and mining contracts.
Earlier this month, Revenue Watch and our partners gathered parliamentary leaders and other experts from four resource rich African countries for a candid and in-depth regional dialogue on the role of legislators, civil society and media in resource development in Africa. The event took place from May 11 to May 13 at the White Sands Hotel, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where historic changes are underway as Tanzania prepares to implement a series of important changes to its mining law.
The Revenue Watch Institute is launching an extensive training program for suitably qualified journalists from Ghana and Uganda interested in oil and gas reporting. The training program will begin in July/August 2010 and take place over the following six to eight months. There are approximately 14 places available this year: seven for Ghanaian journalists and seven for Ugandan journalists.
Tanzania opened a new phase in the development of its mining sector in April when the parliament passed a sweeping mining law. In the months leading up to the bill's passage, Revenue Watch and our local partner Policy Forum worked to build capacity for parliamentarians, civil society and the media.
Revenue Watch's Indonesian partner, PATTIRO, together with researcher Laura Paler of Columbia University and NGO LPAW, conducted an innovative grassroots campaign to raise awareness about government management of public finances at the local level.
On March 30, the Revenue Watch Institute conducted a one-day training session on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) with members of the Tanzanian Parliamentary Standing Committee for Energy and Minerals. The training took place at the parliamentary building in Dar es Salaam, and was organized at the request of the committee after the country joined EITI in February 2009. Close to half of all committee members participated in the training, which was delivered by RWI training and capacity building program officer Matteo Pellegrini and Kaiza Bubelwa, a civil society representative on the Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) of  the Tanzania EITI (TEITI). This article intends to provide an overview of the session and lessons for the future.
After criticism from a united coalition of civil society groups in Ghana, the Ghanaian government has publicly released a draft proposal on Petroleum Resource Revenue Management, spelling out the key elements of an upcoming bill that will shape future management of oil and gas revenues in the country. While Ghanaian citizens had been invited to comment on the drafting of the bill, the coalition protested the failure of the Ministry of Finance to disclose the proposal ahead of public consultations. The group commended the government for coming to recognize the importance of public input and engagement with dissent.
On February 25-26, 2010, Revenue Watch and the Kampala-based Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) held a training on petroleum and gas governance for parliamentarians and civil society in Entebbe, Uganda. Approximately 35 members of Parliament (MPs) from the Natural Resources, Public Accounts and Finance, and the Planning and Economic Development Committees of the Parliament of Uganda, as well as five leading Ugandan civil society organizations attended the event.
This year, Tanzania's government is preparing new mining legislation for introduction in Parliament that would establish a new fiscal regime and legal framework to enhance the contribution of the country's mining sector. For the past ten years of implementation of the mining policy and law, the contributions of the mineral sector to the GDP reached only 2.7% despite becoming a top export earner. The discrepancy has caused mounting public concern for policy, fiscal and legal reforms to increase the sector’s contribution to the national economy. In light of these ongoing reforms in the Tanzanian mining sector, the nation’s Parliament, civil society organizations and members of the media sought expert support from the Revenue Watch Institute to increase their capacity to effectively scrutinize and deliberate on the proposed legislation.
At the beginning of January, Revenue Watch Legal Advisor Matt Genasci and Advisory Board members Robert Conrad and Joseph Bell traveled to Mongolia in conjunction with the Open Society Forum-Mongolia. During the five-day visit, which was organized at the request of the office of the Mongolian president, RWI met with members of the administration, various ministries and parliamentarians to discuss revenue management, contract monitoring and the possible development of a model contract for use in Mongolia's extractive deals. m

After the successful launch of the Africa Regional Extractive Industry Knowledge Hub in Ghana last year, RWI is expanding this unique knowledge-sharing and capacity building model to another area of operations. Work on establishing a Latin American Hub is underway in Lima, Peru, where RWI Regional Coordinator Carlos Monge and his team are preparing an inaugural residential phase to begin this April.

On February 2, the Revenue Watch Institute launched its new online Resource Center: an interactive database of research, training and policy documents and videos concerning transparency and the management of natural resource wealth. This tool, which compiles a comprehensive selection of research materials from around the world in multiple languages, represents a cross-section of expertise, analysis and good practice.
The mineral policies in Tanzania once called "new" are new no longer, and many of their objectives remain unattained. A decade ago, Tanzania embarked on mining sector reform, formulating a policy in 1997 and passing corresponding legislation 1998. The reform's main objective was to create an enabling environment for private investors in an industry that was previously state-controlled. Unfortunately, the goal of increasing the sector's contribution to national growth and poverty reduction has proven to be far-fetched. New reforms are underway, but the question remains, what really went wrong?
As Tanzania works toward validation as an EITI country, local members of civil society, the media and a parliamentary representative gathered in Dar es Salaam for a series of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) training and strategy sessions organized by the Revenue Watch Institute, in collaboration with the Policy Forum of Tanzania and with logistical support from Norwegian Church Aid—Tanzania office. The first event was an informal training and coordination session held on January 20 for the civil society members of the Tanzania EITI Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG)
Dr. Keith Myers, the co-founder of Richmond Energy Partners, led a Revenue Watch Institute workshop on oil and gas governance for members of Ghana's parliament last October. The training was part of RWI's ongoing parliamentary project, created in partnership with the Parliamentary Centre. The event also benefited from budgetary support from GTZ. RWI asked Dr. Myers to share his reflections on the training and Ghana's oil future.
On November 6, the Africa Institute for Energy Governance (AFIEGO) hosted a training workshop in Kampala, Uganda to promote contract transparency in Uganda's oil sector. The training, sponsored by Revenue Watch with contributions from Publish What You Pay Uganda and the Open Society Initiative for East Africa, brought together a diverse set of actors, including civil society groups, members of parliament and journalists, to promote public disclosure of the country's oil contracts.
On October 20, Revenue Watch began a three-day technical workshop for Ghanaian legislators in Sogakope, Ghana, in partnership with German nonprofit GTZ and the Parliamentary Centre.
On September 23, as a bipartisan group of U.S. senators introduced legislation to broaden disclosure of international extractive industry payments, more than 200 activists, policymakers, industry representatives and government officials gathered for a conference that may herald a new stage in the global movement for natural resource transparency and accountability. The event marked the release of Revenue Watch's report Contracts Confidential: Ending Secret Deals in the Extractive Industries, which challenges most of the common objections to openness in extractive industry contracts.

STOCKHOLM—Public disclosure and public engagement can transform development strategy into social change, a group of international communications and governance experts told leaders gathered today at the annual European Development Days conference.

Next month in Washington, D.C., Revenue Watch will co-host a seminar with Partners for Democratic Change entitled: "Strategies for Building Political Support to Expand the Reach of EITI to New Countries" Panelists will discuss arguments for EITI adoption, successful experiences advocating EITI with participating governments, and the appropriate role of local civil society organizations in promoting the initiative.
International Alert (IA), an independent peace building organization that works in communities affected by violent conflict, recently launched a report on Uganda's emerging petroleum industry, "Harnessing Oil for Peace and Development in Uganda: Understanding National, Local and Cross-border Conflict Risks Associated with Oil Discoveries in the Albertine Rift." The report is the second briefing paper in International Alert's "Investing in Peace" series, which targets policy-makers in government, development partners, civil society and the private sector to explore the "political economy" of conflicts in Uganda.
This June, Revenue Watch Institute worked with the Timor Leste Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Secretariat and the East Timor NGO Forum (FONGTIL) to implement a series of training on EITI for civil society, the MSG and parliamentarians.  Facilitated by Revenue Watch Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator Chandra Kirana, Radhika Sarin, Coordinator of Publish What You Pay (PWYP) International, and other civil society representatives, the workshops drew 56 participants to learn about the EITI and analyze the experience of other countries, such as Kazakhstan and Liberia, that have already undergone the process. 
The first National Meeting of the Publish What You Pay-Indonesia coalition was held in Jakarta this August. Although the coalition was established in November 2007, due to organizational difficulties there had not yet been a national meeting of the group to establish a formal governance structure—something which has become a necessity as the coalition has grown—and to discuss varied responses to notes from PWYP-Indonesia's 2007 workshop on coalition positioning and work structure.