The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has commended the government for impressive performance on the Revenue Watch Institute’s 2013 Resource Governance Index.
Ghana placed 15th on the Composite Index scoring an average of 63 marks.
The Resource Governance Index (RGI) measures the quality of governance in the oil, gas and mining sectors of 58 countries.
According to ACEP, Ghana’s current performance on the Index demonstrates that significant efforts have been made by government over the years to improve on the governance of natural resources.
However ACEP said Ghana is still faced with the risks of mismanaging and corrupting its natural resource wealth, particularly minerals, oil and gas.
“We note that there are no mandatory disclosure requirements of Petroleum and Mining Contracts, whilst some of the Petroleum Contracts published so far have been at the discretion of the Minister of Energy following civil society pressure,” ACEP said in a press statement.
The Centre also identified that petroleum and mining concessions are still granted through sole sourcing and closed door negotiations rather than an open and competitive process.
“Mineral revenues ceded to local authorities and traditional rulers are not managed transparently; and the promised Mineral Development Fund Law remains a dream. Ghana has also not passed the Right to Information Law,” they said.
They are also alarmed at the performance of African countries generally on the Index in spite of a decade of global campaigns for good resource governance in the Continent’s resource rich countries, where poverty levels have risen over the years.
“Our analysis of the Resource Governance Index revealed the following startling observations about resource rich African Countries featured in the report.
i. Of the total 58 countries and States featured; and 21 African Countries, only 6 African countries were in the first half, but the rest of them fell in the last half.
ii. Of the 21 African countries, only 5 were graded partial performance, but the rest performed poorly – 8 graded weak and 8 graded failing. None of the countries was graded satisfactory.
iii. Of the 15 major failing countries on the composite index, 9 were the most resource rich countries in the world of which 5 countries, more than half, were from Africa.
iv. In the governance of Natural Resource Funds, there were 6 African countries featured in this category out of 23, but all except Botswana fell in the bottom 10 countries.
The Centre said these observations do not present an encouraging picture about Africa, and hence called on African Governments to double their efforts at improving good governance in the management of the continent’s vast natural resources.
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