Recent Articles

While the country of Niger, in Western Africa, is reaping greater benefits from mining revenues, its progress towards transparency is more uneven. In the wake of questionable mining permit grants, parliamentarian Mahaman Nomao Djika has called for a more open grants process in a public letter to President of the National Assembly Mahaman Nomao Djika Niamey.
In a bipartisan rebuke against corruption, several Members of Congress and leading advocacy organizations condemned the government of Gabon for the arrest and detention of five anti-corruption advocates and demanded that all charges be dropped.
On November 28, 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique, a group of civil society organizations launched a national "Publish What You Pay" coalition to monitor development and government policies in the extractives industries. The coalition was formed under the auspices of G20, the Civil Society Platform for the Monitoring of Development.
Publish What You Pay (PWYP), the global civil society coalition that helps citizens hold their governments accountable for the management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining industries said today that the Gabonese authorities should drop all charges against civil society activists facing unfounded accusations, and guarantee their rights.
Publish What You Pay (PWYP), the global civil society movement for transparency in the oil, gas and mining industries, condemns the arbitrary arrest of anti-corruption campaigners in Gabon, including PWYP Gabon Co-ordinator Marc Ona and PWYP Gabon member Georges Mpaga. 
In today's Houston Chronicle, Revenue Watch legal fellow Susan Maples responds to a recent article about the proposed new company disclosure rules in the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act now making its way through U.S. Congress.
Senator Dick Lugar, a ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, takes on the resource curse in The Christian Science Monitor, writing that "oil and natural gas reserves frequently can be a bane, not a blessing, for poor countries, leading to corruption, wasteful spending, military adventurism, and instability." The Indiana Republican spoke in support of extractive industry transparency during a September hearing on the Extractive Transparency Disclosure Act (EITD) which also included testimony by Revenue Watch experts.
As Uganda prepares to become an oil-producing country, one expert is asking if the nation's new-found reserves will yield national growth or economic doom. In an article in Uganda's "New Vision," researcher Frank Tumusiime, of the Africa Institute for Energy Governance, questions whether the country is positioned to translate oil revenues into capital investments for development.
From CNN, read an essay on America's oil addiction by professor Michael Watts, coauthor with photojournalist Ed Kashi of Black Gold, excerpted from the new book "What Matters," a collection of 18 photo-essays and polemical articles on the pressing issues of our age, created by New York Times bestselling author David Elliot Cohen.
Leaders in the oil-rich state of Bayelsa will open state and local government budgets to unprecedented scrutiny with today's launch of the Bayelsa Expenditure and Income Transparency Initiative (BEITI). Established with planning and technical advice from the Revenue Watch Institute, the BEITI will bring together executives from government ministries, officials from the state's House of Assembly, civil society groups and leaders from the oil and gas industry to audit state income from all sources.
The movement for improved disclosure and anti-corruption regulations gained further attention and momentum in the U.S. Congress this fall, as the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act picked up new sponsors in the House and the Senate. RWI has pushed hard with Publish What You Pay US over the past year and a half to get this bill introduced and approved in Congress.

Revenue Watch Africa regional coordinator Emmanuel Kuyole and deputy director Julie McCarthy joined more than 140 participants in Abuja, Nigeria this fall for Publish What You Pay's Africa regional meeting. RWI Program officer Angela Mugore led a validation training session, and RWI Fellow Susan Maples conducted a contracts disclosure training session.

The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is developing new rules for the extractives sector. The Revenue Watch Institute, Publish What You Pay and our partners have proposed standards that will produce new information about company payments, operations, costs and reserves in each country of operation.
Each night for a month, messages appeared on the cell phone of a community activist in one of Indonesia’s sprawling urban areas. The messages were consistent, the threat unsubtle: “If you want to live in this city, don’t talk about budgets.” Next came “informal conversations” with the local police, then interrogations. It is dangerous work to empower people, to provide them with information about malfeasance and the tools they need to collect official documents, to show students and housewives how to discover whether government officials, some local, some national, are mismanaging and sometimes skimming massive amounts of revenue paid by foreign companies to extract oil, minerals, and other natural resources.
At a September meeting of Publish What You Pay Guinea, senior economist Antoine Heuty presented a workshop on contract transparency. Heuty spoke with Guinea's La Nouvelle Tribune during his visit.
Through stunning photographs and firsthand commentary, this RWI slideshow reveals the stark problems of poverty, corruption and environmental abuse that continue to devastate the oil-rich Niger Delta. Narrated by Nigerian transparency advocate Asume Isaac Osuoka and award-winning photojournalist Ed Kashi.
The recent discovery of oil under the waters of Ghana’s Gold Coast gives Ghana a chance to use the projected new resource windfall—perhaps as much as an additional one billion dollars in government revenues per year—for development. But this will only happen if Ghana can avoid the usual traps of new oil wealth in developing countries. Revenue Watch partner Oxfam America says Ghana's record of good governance and stability make it a good candidate to approach oil exploitation with greater revenue transparency and better revenue management. Ghana has the chance to consolidate its accomplishments in fighting poverty, and continuing toward its Millennium Development Goals. 
In a joint letter to three top Norwegian ministers, Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Norway and PWYP International urged Norway to take new steps toward becoming an EITI candidate country. The Norwegian government announced its plans to implement EITI in September 2007, and the nation has been a key supporter of EITI since its inception, yet Norway has failed to take the first steps in the process.
It is a very sad irony that communities in the Niger Delta that sit atop huge oil and gas deposits have gotten nothing really in return. Rather than any wealth or benefits, what the community members have been getting is impoverishment, is diseases, death, destruction of their livelihoods.
Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of oil in the world—and now one of the major suppliers of U.S. oil in what has been called the scramble for African oil. Virtually all of Nigeria's oil is pumped from the nine states that make up the Niger Delta in the southeast of the country. Yet the delta remains the poorest region in the nation. Political gangsterism, corruption, and poverty seem to converge there. This month, the Revenue Watch Institute and the Open Society Institute Documentary Photography Project present a discussion of oil in the Niger Delta and the use of photography in advocating for social change.
The Revenue Watch Institute today applauded the introduction of legislation that will be essential in the fight to stabilize energy markets and end corruption in developing nations. Introduced on Friday by New York Senator Charles Schumer, the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (S. 3389) would require companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission to publish payments made to foreign governments for oil, gas and minerals.
Publish What You Pay United States applauds Senator Charles Schumer for introducing the Extractive Industries Transparency Disclosure Act (S. 3389), companion legislation to the bill of the same name in the House of Representatives.
In the latest incident in what is emerging as a pattern of harassment and intimidation of anti-corruption campaigners in Gabon, national police attempted to arrest 5 people on Tuesday at a meeting of the Gabonese Civil Society Forum Against Poverty (FOSCPG) in Libreville.
In commentary in the Financial Times, Yahia Said calls for transparency in the negotiation of controversial Iraqi oil contracts, and help from international institutions as Iraq rebuilds its oil sector, its hobbled bureaucracy and trust between government and the citizens who stand to benefit in an improved Iraqi economy.
In a June 30 interview, Revenue Watch Middle East North Africa Director Yahia Said explained the latest steps by Iraq to revitalize its oil sector through contracts with U.S. and foreign firms, and the continuing barriers to new hydrocarbon legislation. "The Iraqis haven't agreed yet on two major issues," Said told Judy Woodruff of "NewsHour." "One is the division of power and responsibilities between the central government and the regions and the province over the industry, who controls the industry, who signs contracts, who manages the fields.