Penplusbytes, a leader in enhancing the capacity of journalists in various thematic areas, is pleased to announce its new cross-country training project – “Drilling Down Oil and Gas in West Africa.
The new 2-year project with support from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) is aimed at building the capacity of journalists in the West African sub-region to effectively monitor and bring to the fore key issues about legal regimes for revenue utilization, local content, resource governance inter-countries disputes confronting the sub-region oil and the impact of the sector on the lives of citizens in the sub-region.
The project will kick off with the first batch of journalists being trained in Cote D’Ivoire from 26th to 29th November and a similar training in Ghana is expected to be held from 3rd to 6th December, 2019. The project is situated within the framework of enabling better economic governance as a whole and natural resources management while promoting independent journalism in West Africa.
Part of the project intervention is to contribute to efforts by the media and civil society actors to ensure that ordinary citizens benefit from oil and gas revenues in the sub-region.
The “Drilling Down Oil and Gas in West Africa” project is a build-up of many years of undertaking multi-country training by Penplusbytes and will further deepen the organization’s work in the extractive sector in undertaking evidence-based research to improve resource governance, build the capacity of journalists to play an effective oversight role over the extractive sector, and generate policy briefs to influence governments as well as statements and alerts that inform the media, citizens and civil society and move them to action.
Commenting on the importance of this project, Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Ms. Juliet Amoah, said: “The oil and gas sector has been the backbone of many economies of the world. In West Africa, it could become more of a backbone if managed well and if it is managed transparently. It is therefore imperative to constantly sharpen and sustain the interests of the media, who are the fourth realm of the Estate, to exercise their oversight role so as to ensure accountability in the sector.”
Ms. Amoah added she is delighted that after Penplusbytes’ oil and gas project in Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Liberia, the organization is able to add Cote D’Ivoire to its oil and gas programming areas.
Under this project, Penplusbytes will work with the media to ensure that citizen voices are strongly represented and impact the way that the sector is governed across the sub-region using Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire as case studies.