Recent Articles

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.
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.
A new report by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) surveys the contributions made by mining companies to public finances, offering details on various forms of taxes and contributions, and suggestions for how companies could benefit from increased transparency in reporting their tax affairs.
A proposal by U.S. Senators Richard Lugar and Ben Cardin would require any company listed on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to disclose payments to governments for access to natural resources. As Congress debates this amendment to financial reform legislation, and the best response to the BP oil spill, RWI Director Karin Lissakers explains the urgent need for legal reform to ensure extractive sector transparency and accountability. Read more at The Huffington Post ...
In late March, Oil & Gas Journal editor Bob Tippee spoke to a gathering of the Gas Processors Association (GPA) on the necessity of renewing a once-vibrant corporate conversation on the concept of the extractive industry's "license to operate." In an eloquent call to action, Tippee noted the important role that the Revenue Watch Institute has played in maintaining an emphasis on transparency in extractive industry contracting. Praising the insights of recent RWI report Contracts Confidential, Tippee exhorted GPA members to open their contracts up for public oversight, and transform them from objects of secrecy into vehicles for building trust.
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.
Revenue Watch Institute Chairman Anthony Richter testified before the U.S. Helsinki Commission on Capitol Hill at a hearing on the links between revenue transparency and human rights. The commission convened the hearing as the Senate considers related extractive industry transparency legislation introduced by the commission's co-chair Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Richard Lugar, the Energy Security Through Transparency (ESTT) Act.
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.
The global movement for accountable natural resource management gained ground today as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) resolved questions over the status of 18 countries that had missed a key deadline in the voluntary program. At a meeting in Berlin, Germany, the EITI International Board decided on limited extensions for 16 countries to complete their reporting and validation processes, including Kazakhstan, Timor Leste and Ghana.
Revenue Watch joins Amnesty International in calling for an immediate investigation into the illegal assault and detention of three Nigerian civil society activists by police on April 5. Three activists from the nonprofit group Social Action, which promotes citizen participation in the management of resource extraction, trade and investment that affect human rights, democracy and livelihoods, were violently stopped and arrested without explanation by police as they left their office.
The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) took important steps on April 6 to improve reporting and disclosure by the oil, gas and mining industries. But extractive industry experts said the proposals have been weakened by pressure from companies and have yet to clearly recommend reporting of the full information that investors and citizens need.
In late February, United Kingdom MP Chris Mullin of the Labour Party introduced an early day motion in Parliament urging the government to consider adopting legislation requiring extractive companies to fully disclose revenue payments to governments. A joint letter from six civil society groups exhorted MPs to "assist the struggle against corruption in the oil, gas and mining industries of the world" by supporting the measure, which could also go far in encouraging the US Congress to pass its Energy Security Through Transparency Act.
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.
The Revenue Watch Institute is pleased to sponsor an exhibition by photographer Ed Kashi at the HOST Gallery in London. On display from March 8 through April 3, the exhibit Curse of the Black Gold, documents the consequences of a half-century of oil exploration in a region that holds Africa's largest oil reserves, but offers a stark example of the perils of resource abundance. Kashi's images capture local leaders, militants, oil workers and villagers living in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
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?
Washington, D.C.—As Senate investigators announced details of oil profiteering schemes among foreign officials, leading U.S. and international experts renewed their call for passage of legislation drafted to protect U.S. energy security and block acts of corruption that circumvent existing anti-corruption rules.
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)
RWI partner Oxfam America has created a two-minute animated short, "Follow the money," to help support the Energy Security Through Transparency Act. "Follow the money" demonstrates the consequences of buying gas every day: where the money goes, and why citizens in oil-producing nations often don't see the profits when U.S. gas prices soar.
The Revenue Watch Institute congratulated Norwegian officials and transparency campaigners today as the nation's Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) issued its first report, publishing all payments of taxes and fees made by oil companies to the government in 2008.
On BBC's "The World Tonight" program, RWI Africa Regional Coordinator Emmanuel Kuyole and Radhika Sarin of Publish What You Pay International discuss the challenges of responsible natural resource management and how citizens and leaders from Ghana to Ecuador are working to make the most of their resource wealth.
The Revenue Watch Institute today congratulated the Government of Iraq as it formally announced that it would join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), taking a historic step toward the efficient and open management of its oil industry.
Today’s brutal shooting attack on the Togolese football team traveling to the Africa Cup of Nations in the oil-rich Angolan province of Cabinda serves as a harsh reminder of the instability that often reigns in enclaves where tremendous oil wealth coexists with chronic underdevelopment.  A purported representative of Cabinda's militant separatist group the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda (FLEC) has claimed initial responsibility for the attack, declaring it "only the start of a series of targeted actions that will continue in all the territory of Cabinda," although few facts about the assailants are yet known.
On November 11, the Revenue Watch Institute hosted journalist Peter Maass, author of the new book Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil, for an afternoon conversation with RWI Director Karin Lissakers. Crude World is a reporter's foray into many of the countries that have come to represent the so-called "resource curse," such as Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan—countries where the discovery of mineral and hydrocarbon reserves has resulted not in greater prosperity, but rather in increased corruption, poverty and environmental degradation.
On September 30, Ukraine's cabinet announced that the country will implement the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) in cooperation with civil society and extractive companies. EITI Chairman Peter Eigen welcomed the news, saying, "Secure energy supplies depend on good governance and transparency. Through its commitment to the EITI, the Ukraine is demonstrating its willingness to play by the highest standards."

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.