sharing in governance of extractive industries
The maiden African Oil Governance Summit (AOGS) held late last year will be organised next month again in Accra.
The AOGS will be an annual event that bringing top policy makers and other stakeholders not only from the Africa’s oil industry but from all over the globe, aimed at engaging the governance aspect of oil and gas resources geared at the effective utilization of these resources to transform oil producing countries onto an accelerated development.
Put together by the African Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP), the Summit also seeks to ensure this annual dialogue platform that discusses governance issues across the value chain of the industry differs from most similar conferences organised on the sector that focus more and driven by the “big money” investment attraction, business opportunities and relative incentives to attract private capital.
'While it is appropriate to engage the investor community to mobilize the needed capital to aid exploitation of the oil and gas resource, the bigger questions about managing processes to maximize government take and diversification of resource rent to propel other sectors of the economy in a transparent and accountable manner should not be lost on Africans.' the release adds.
The forth-coming summit will focus on the survival strategies employed by countries hard hit by the low oil prices that many oil giants all over the world have deployed. Its devastating impact on many African countries particularly the major producers will be learnt. Angola for instance has approached the IMF from a very long while it has not gone to IMF, its national currency has devalued about 37% against the US dollar, putting so much pressure on an economy that is 90% dependent on oil for exports. Nigeria and Algeria are no exceptions who are facing similar economic difficulties - forcing stringent economic measures such as reduction of subsidies and currency control in attempt to rescue shrinking foreign reserves. Oil price crush has been cyclical in the history of the industry.
The maiden Summit broadened the discussions on governance around Africa’s oil, touching on contract transparency, local content, institutional development, and revenue accountability. The release notes that 'governance challenges on the continent often relegates long term planning and rather focus on dependence on the revenue. This year’s summit will bring together Civil society, Governments and the business community to discuss the lessons learnt from the price crush; future governance and development.
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