News / Africa

South Sudan 'Failing' at Resource Management

An oil processing facility is seen at an oilfield in Unity State, South Sudan, April 22, 2012.
An oil processing facility is seen at an oilfield in Unity State, South Sudan, April 22, 2012.
Jill Craig
A new report says one billion people could have their lives transformed with better governance and management of their countries’ natural resources.

The study by Revenue Watch, which was released Wednesday in Washington, D.C., says that less than 20 percent of the 58 countries studied "embraced openness and accountability.” These 58 countries produce 85 percent of the world’s petroleum, 90 percent of the world’s diamonds, and 80 percent of the world’s copper, according to Revenue Watch.

Revenue Watch is a New York based non-profit that, according to its website, works to reduce corruption and improve governance in resource rich countries.

The 58 countries in the study were evaluated on four factors – institutional and legal setting, reporting practices, safeguards and quality controls, and general governance environment. 

Revenue Watch says that most of the worst performers depend almost exclusively upon revenues from natural resources as their main source of income. South Sudan, the most oil dependent country in the world, received a failing grade, ranking 50th out of the 58 countries.

Revenue Watch analyst Marie Lintzer, an analyst with Research Watch, worked on the project. 

“They don’t have an open and transparent oil sector," she said. "By that, we mean that they do not publish a lot of information about the oil revenues that they get, and their checks and balances are weak."

“And actually the only part where South Sudan scores really high on our index is regarding the institutional arrangements," she continued. "They have laws in place and since 2011, they have issued some laws regarding transparency in the oil sector. And South Sudan has a very high score in that respect.”

But, Lintzer added that while South Sudan may have laws on the books, such as the 2012 Petroleum Act, implementation of the laws is a problem.

“For now, none of the government agencies have been publishing information, so you can’t really find anything,” she said. “Whether it’s reports that have been published by ministries, or online, that was the main difficulty. Because you don’t have any information on the sector.”

South Sudan’s dependence on its oil sector makes better governance a priority, according to Lintzer.  
 
“Their entire economy is based on oil. And therefore, managing well your oil sector and having an accountable and transparent oil sector is important for the economic development of that country and for the sustainability of the economic growth that would go with that.”

Revenue Watch President Daniel Kaufmann agreed, saying the issue is not only important for South Sudan, but also for other countries ranking poorly on the index.

“But in terms of a development challenge of this decade, for these countries, it is the management, the better governance, anti-corruption in natural resources,” he said. “Because that is basically where their domestic resources lie.” 

However, the Revenue Watch report states that being wealthy is not a precondition for good governance of resources. The report said six of the top 11 performers on the index are middle-income countries, including Mexico, Colombia, and Peru.

“The silver lining is that some are performing satisfactorily, and that shows that it can be done, that there’s no such thing as a deterministic resource curse,” Kaufmann explained. Those countries that are doing satisfactorily are not all rich industrialized countries. And that’s very interesting news from this data report.”

Revenue Watch said the future of sub-Saharan African countries will depend on how well they manage their oil, gas, and mineral resources.

You May Like

Video 2nd American Reportedly Killed in Syria

Local television report says Abdirahman Muhumed left the area to fight for Islamic State militants More

WHO Fears Ebola Outbreak Could Infect 20,000 People

World Health Organization says outbreak 'continues to accelerate' but that most cases are concentrated in a few local areas More

Angelina Jolie Marries Brad Pitt

Actors wed in small private ceremony Saturday in France More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid