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Botswana Energy Minister says Oil Forum Addresses Corruption

Botswana’s top energy official says past mistakes in developing the Continent’s resources can lead to better distribution of oil wealth in the future. Charles Tibone is the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources – and once served as the director of Botswana’s branch of Transparency International. He is attending a forum in Washington on developing oil and gas in Africa. He told Voice of America reporter Cole Mallard that the meeting is addressing the issue of corruption. He says the forum cannot define policy, but can suggest effective steps to take. Mr. Tibone also says the forum is concerned about the fair distribution of future oil revenues, particularly those that benefit local citizens, and he says the subject “is open for discussion.”

Regarding Nigeria’s Niger Delta region and the concern that US oil companies are exploiting the area, Mr. Tibone says, “It’s incumbent upon the government and the investors” to oversee proper and effective distribution procedures that include the community and protect the environment. He adds that “it is difficult to ensure up to the last dollar that things are done in a preferred way” but says “forums like this do expose the principals…of accountability that will insure that there is a ‘win-win’ situation.”