African Governments Will Give Their Citizens Lasting Benefits From Natural Resources If They Join The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)
As global transparency activists and stakeholders converge in Lima, Peru, for the 7th Global Conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and to take stock of progress in resource governance globally, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) is concerned that African governments have failed to achieve the promised resource based development for their people in spite of a decade long of resource boom especially from oil, gas and solid minerals. Some of the fast growing countries in Africa over the last decade are resource-based economies, yet this growth has not been equitably distributed due to poor investment decisions, and the increasing alienation of the citizens from accountability processes. This has resulted in higher levels of income inequality across the continent. At current estimates of discovered natural resources particularly in oil, gas and solid minerals, Sub-Saharan Africa’s population could have achieved universal education, medical care for all, and food security. There is no justification therefore why the continent continues to be associated with the highest illiteracy rate, low access to medical care and hunger. This unfortunate state of Africa’s development can be largely attributed to bad governance. The EITI therefore provides the greatest opportunity ever for African governments who are genuinely desirous of providing sustainable development for their citizens to adopt such best governance practices that could guide the transparent and accountable management of their resource wealth. Some of these practices such as resource revenue transparency and accountability, contract transparency; and productive spending of resource revenue provide the antidote to corrupt and inefficient management of resource wealth.