Transparency and Accountability In Africa’s Extractive Industries: The Role of the Legislature
This report identifies the challenges that African legislators face in overseeing their countries’ oil and mining industries, as well as best practices in use around the world and recommendations for future engagement. Nine countries were selected for this study: Angola, Botswana, Chad, the Republic of Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and South Africa. The report draws extensively on interviews with over 200 individual elected legislators, politicians, civic leaders and business representatives as well as desktop research conducted on Sao Tome and Principe’s emerging oil sector.
The survey findings present a mixed picture. Many legislators who were interviewed demonstrated the determination and political acumen necessary to affect change in this area, and a number of legislative bodies on the continent were attempting to play more active roles in providing oversight of this sector. However, political and financial constraints prevent many of these individuals and bodies from conducting oversight activities effectively and independently, while others lack the support of skeptical public audiences that have little confidence in their capacity or political will to improve management and oversight in industries long seen as the source of personal wealth for those in power.
There are a number of international initiatives underway to promote accountability and transparency, such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Coalition and Transparency International’s Revenue Transparency Project. NDI believes that reform-minded legislators should more proactively engage with these and other initiatives in search of workable strategies and programs to meet the specific challenges of their countries’ environments. We hope that this report will serve as a resource for these individuals and those willing to support their efforts.