Blog

Interviews, background on NRGI research and training events and up-to-the-minute analysis by staff and experts from around the world.

Headlines about resource-rich economies faltering under crashing commodity price pressures fill the news. "Venezuela in a bind as Nicolas Maduro faces default dilemma" warns the Financial Times. "Alberta premier considers sales tax to fix ailing, oil-based economy" says the Canadian Press. "Iran says it can no longer afford Ahmadinejad's cash handouts" reports the Guardian...

On 20 April, Luis Arce Catacora, Bolivia’s economy minister, spoke at the University of Chicago, about “The Model That Changed Bolivia's Economy,” which, he said, explains how Bolivia has been able to sustain a five percent annual economic growth rate over the last decade.

Negotiating complex mining deals can be challenging for resource-dependent countries under any circumstances. But commodity price volatility adds an additional challenge to the mix, as Mongolia’s recently concluded renegotiation with Rio Tinto on the Oyu Tolgoi project illustrates.

At the end of the last commodity super cycle in the mid-1980s, the future looked bleak for producing countries. The Prebisch-Singer hypothesis suggested that commodity prices would continue falling relative to the price of manufactured goods – which was not good for countries that were selling their resources in order to finance industrial expansion...

In the past six months, 24 countries have released new Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reports disclosing over $200 billion in payments from more than 2,000 companies. These are the first reports prepared under the broader EITI Standard that was introduced in 2013...

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI) experts Lisa Sachs and Nicolas Maennling discuss public policies, from managing resource revenues to diversifying the economy, that can help countries reduce dependency on extractive industries and prosper through volatile commodity cycles.

Guest author Dr. Carole Nakhle analyzes the shifting bargaining power of companies and governments under current price developments and how many companies are taking advantage of the situation to improve their fiscal terms. This bears lessons for policy makers and all interested stakeholders.

Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (PEPD) recently extended the deadline for firms to submit bids in its first-ever round of licensing for six oil blocks in the Albertine Graben...

This week, NRGI is hosting extractives experts from six countries to at the International Open Data Conference (IODC) in Ottawa, Canada.

Minerals account for almost half of Mongolia’s gross domestic product, making extractive sector oversight an important function of the country’s government. In recent years, NRGI has worked with Mongolia’s leaders to improve transparency and better harness national revenues...

The price of oil, the commodity that more than any other determines the fortunes of Nigeria, has fallen over 50 percent since June 2014. The country’s 37 billion barrels of oil reserves are now significantly less valuable than before...

Across sub-Saharan Africa, civil society groups and journalists have been playing an increasingly important role in advocating for governance reform. Part of their aim is to increase the chances that their countries’ sub-soil wealth might be transformed into meaningful strides in development.

Uncertainty about how Indonesia will update its Oil and Gas Law is discouraging the very investors whom policy-makers want to attract, a task already made difficult by historically low oil prices, energy experts say...

The Nigerian government has released a PriceWaterhouseCoopers audit report about the financial flows between the national oil company and the country's treasury. The document joins a long list of reports that reach a common conclusion: the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation is broken, and requires urgent overhaul.

Tunisia has been celebrated by the international community as a beacon of hope and as fertile ground for transitional democracy in a region rocked by political conflict and unrest.

In the latter part of 2014 global oil prices fell at one of the most rapid paces in history. In Ghana this exposed a precarious fiscal situation that has undermined the high ambitions expressed by Ghanaians just a few years ago. Countries like Uganda and Tanzania that are currently shaping policies and laws to manage “resource curse” pressures can surely learn from Ghana’s troubling experience.

In 2013, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) adopted a new standard that would, among other things, help civil society organizations communicate and collaborate with government on extractive sector issues, especially in regions with weak dialogue among stakeholders. One of those regions is Eurasia, which has a number of EITI implementing countries.

At a recent Istanbul workshop on extractive sector transparency in Eurasia, Rysbek Toktogul—tax and financial compliance manager at Kyrgyzstan’s largest mining project—stood out as the only private sector executive in the room.

NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann recently visited Indonesia, where he met with editors from Tempo magazine. What follows is a reproduction of the resulting news story, “Good Governance Means the Rule of Law, Not the Rule of Man Prevails,” posted here with Tempo’s permission.

The dramatic fall in the value of oil and other commodities over the past six months has impacted both governments and communities in resource-rich countries, and has sent many searching for lessons learned during previous periods of price crashes.

While rival Libyan politicians were last month attempting to come to an agreement on how to “split the cake” in the Moroccan town of Skhirate, the Libyan Transparency Working Group met in Istanbul to establish exactly what’s left of that cake and how to preserve it.

In a wide-ranging interview this month with Critical Resource, NRGI president Daniel Kaufmann discusses differences in corporate behavior between the mining and hydrocarbon sectors...

International Institute of Social Studies and Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation aim to move beyond facile dichotomies to address the political economy of the ‘extractive imperative’ and the tensions it increasingly generates in Latin America...