Recent Articles

On 2 March, Ghana's long-awaited Petroleum Revenue Management Bill was passed unanimously in Parliament. The bill will significantly contribute to responsible economic stewardship of resource revenues, committing the nation to saving a portion of revenues in "Heritage and Stabilization" funds and to using earnings for domestic development.
At a joint press conference in Conakry on 1 March, the newly elected president of Guinea, Alpha Conde, and George Soros, founder of the Open Society Foundations, announced that the country's forthcoming mining code will be committed to the principles of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and will target industry corruption and bribery.
Iraqi civil society members concluded an RWI capacity building workshop with the decision to form a coalition of NGOs working for oil, gas and mining transparency.
Over the past three years, Revenue Watch has carried out parliamentary capacity building pilot projects in Ghana, Tanzania, Sierra Leone and Uganda. These projects sought to help national parliaments improve their oversight of the oil, gas and mining sectors and to form more effective alliances with civil society and the media. Keith Myers acted as lead trainer in a number of Revenue Watch oil governance and contracts workshops. In this article, he offers his own reflections on the opportunities and challenges associated with parliamentary capacity building in Africa.
This December, Revenue Watch co-hosted a training session on mining sector governance for parliamentarians and leading civil society representatives in Harare, Zimbabwe. After years of internal strife, humanitarian crises and hyperinflation, Zimbabwe's economy is fragile and optimistic forecasts about mineral revenues are tempered by a need for reform in the mining sector. RWI invited Catherine Anderson, a public sector governance specialist and a facilitator for this training, to share her impressions of Zimbabwe and the country's challenges as it seeks to revive and reform its mining sector.

Applications are now open for a two-week summer course, "Developing Local Economies through Inclusive Policies and Planning," to be held at Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. Led by Revenue Watch partner the Local Government Initiative, the course will equip policy-makers and practitioners with strategies for improving sub-national economies. Learn more and apply ... (CEU)

In late October, Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative coalitions from the Caucasus and Central Asia held their sixth annual meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Though plans for strong regional collaboration have fallen through in the past, this year, RWI and local partners introduced a new framework for inter-country cooperation and future shared campaigns.
Since the country's first oil discovery was made last year, Sierra Leonians have been caught between their hopes—for fortune-changing oil discoveries—and their fears—of a replay of the country's unhappy experiences in the mining sector, when immense mineral wealth fueled civil war. Energy analyst and RWI advisor Keith Myers, who helped lead an RWI capacity building workshop this October, reflects on the country's oil prospects.
On November 5, international energy experts, civil society activists and members of the Ukrainian government met in Kiev for a conference on oil and gas transparency co-hosted by Revenue Watch, and for discussions on Ukraine's plans to join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
Ghana's new "Petroleum Revenue Management Bill," which the government recently introduced to parliament, provides a strong framework for the collection and management of the country's expected petroleum revenues. In a new brief from Revenue Watch, RWI Advisory Board Chair Joseph Bell, Legal Analyst Patrick Heller and Deputy Director Antoine Heuty offer comments and suggestions.

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.