By Fred Yaw Sarpong
Revenue Watch Institutes (RWI) will this Wednesday launch the 2013 Resource Governance Index (RGI) globally in Washington DC, USA while the South Sahara Africa launch will be held in Ghana with the focus on this country.
The index evaluates the transparency and accountability of the oil, gas and mining sector in 58 jurisdictions. These are made up of 55 countries and three provinces.
It also measures the disclosure of information about natural resources through official sources, and the sector legal setting and integrity safeguards.
The 2013 RGI index measures the governance of state-owned companies in 45 countries; natural resource funds in 23 countries; and sub-national transfer mechanisms in 30 countries.
Briefing the media about the index and upcoming launch, Emmanuel Kuyole, RWI Africa Regional Coordinator said the objectives of the index is to provide detailed, country-specific, comparative information that can serve as a diagnostic tool guide for reform for policy makers, governments and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).
‘It’s will enable a dialogue across actors in the extractive sector to improve natural resource governance with an evidence-based approach; and raise global attention to the priority concerns of transparency and accountability in the extractive sector,’ said Kuyole.
The 58 countries assessed in the index produce more than 85% of the world’s petroleum, 90% of diamonds and 80% of copper.
Profits from these resources totaled over US$2.6 trillion in 2010. In 41 of these countries, the extractive sector contributed a third of gross domestic product (GDP) and half of total exports on average.
Kuyole stated that the future of these countries depends on how well they manage their oil, gas and minerals.
Within the South Saharan Africa (SSA), the report revealed that for the 17 African countries included in the Index, fuels, ores and metal exports represented on average more than half of total exports in 2016-2011.
‘In 2011, Nigeria’s oil revenues alone were 60% higher than international aid to the entire continent,’ Kuyole quoted report from EITI and OECD.
According to the researchers, Ghana’s rank centered around 173 questions which were asked with much focused on mining sector. However, these questions took into consideration Institutional and Legal Setting; Reporting Practices; and Safeguards and Quality Controls. It is expected that the 2013 RGI will put Ghana in the rank between one and 58.
According to RWI, the score of RGI will be base on Satisfactory (71-100), Partial (51-70), Weak (41-50) and Failing (0-40). No country score 100%.