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 "By that, we mean that they do not publish a lot of information about the oil revenues that they get, and their checks and balances are weak."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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More