Transparency of oil revenues under debate in Sao Tome and Principe

29 October 2007

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 29 Oct – Sao Tome and Principe is to host a regional conference as of Monday on the management and transparency of oil revenues, officials said.

According o a document from the organizing committee, the event aims to boost the capacities of civil society on issues of good management and transparent use of oil funds for the purposes of development.

The regional meeting, organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), by British non-governmental organization International Alert and by the international coalition “Publish what you Pay,” will bring together around 30 delegates from several organizations and Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Speaking to journalists, on of the conferences attendees, Britain’s Sara Wykes, called for the need for oil companies to make public the payments involved in extracting natural resources in order to encourage transparency and good management.

Wykes also noted the need for civil society organizations from oil producing African countries to cooperate in order to “pressure the authorities to invest,” in socio-economic development.

According to the program of the meeting, due to end Wednesday, the delegates will also take part in a round table discussion on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, set up to introduce transparency in the management of oil resources.

Last September, the Sao Tome government set up a national committee for implementing the EITI, bringing together representatives of civil society, oil companies, political parties, the media and unions.

As well as its exclusive area, Sao Tome and Principe also has a joint exploration area with Nigeria based on a treaty stating that Nigeria receives 60 percent of revenues while 40 percent goes to Sao Tome. (macauhub)