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 "By that, we mean that they do not publish a lot of information about the oil revenues that they get, and their checks and balances are weak."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

Brutality Eroding IS Financial Support

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says IS's penchant for publicizing beheadings, other brutal forms of punishment hurts group’s bottom line More

Studies: Climate Change a Factor in Disasters in Syria, California

The studies point to the possibility of clear and present dangers from a threat often considered to be far in the future More

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials and human rights organizations assert that Pakistani authorities are using deadly attack at school in Peshawar as pretext to push out Afghan refugees 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.
Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukrainei
X
March 03, 2015 3:11 AM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Kerry Seeks Assurances of Russian Non-Interference in Ukraine

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, that his country could face further consequences to what he called its “already strained economy” if Moscow does not fully comply with a cease-fire in Ukraine. The two met, on Monday, on the sidelines of a U.N. Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, where Kerry outlined human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and eastern Ukraine. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports from Geneva.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video US, Cuba Report Progress in Latest Talks to Restore Ties

The United States and Cuba say they have made progress in the second round of talks on restoring diplomatic relations more than 50 years after breaking off ties. Delegations from both sides met in Washington on Friday to work on opening embassies in Havana and Washington and iron out key obstacles to historic change. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas reports from the State Department.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video NYC's Restaurant Week: An Economic Boom in Fine Dining

New Yorkers take pride in setting world trends — in fashion, the arts and fine dining. The city’s famous biannual Restaurant Week plays a significant role in a booming tourism industry that sustains 359,000 jobs and generates $61 billion in yearly revenue. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
Video

Video Brookhaven at Cutting Edge of US Energy Research

Issues like the Keystone XL pipeline, fracking and instability in the Middle East are driving debate in the U.S. about making America energy independent. Recently, the American Energy Innovation Council urged Congress and the White House to make expanded energy research a priority. One beneficiary of increased energy spending would be the Brookhaven National Lab, where clean, renewable, efficient energy is the goal. VOA's Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
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 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.

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