Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) in Tanzania

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Overview

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI), formerly the Revenue Watch Institute (RWI), is an independent, non-profit organisation which provides research-based policy advice to countries endowed with natural resources (oil, gas and mineral ore) to help these countries reap the maximum benefits from these resources. Specifically, the NRGI offers technical advice, and is engaged in advocacy, applied research, policy analysis and capacity-building (training). The NRGI works with key players such as government ministries, the civil society, the mass media, parliaments, the private sector, and international institutions. It is funded by philanthropic organisations and governments.[1] The NRGI has offices in New York, Accra, Beirut, Lima and London. Additionally, the institute has staff presence in 10 countries: Cameroon, Guinea, Iraq, Indonesia, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Uganda, Tanzania and Tunisia. At the country level, the NRGI provides training, technical assistance, capacity-building on how to deliver transparency and accountability through the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), strengthening of financial systems; reform of state-owned enterprises; and improvements in the management of resource revenues. [2]

Activities in Tanzania

In Tanzania, the NRGI has been involved in capacity-building, policy advocacy, improving local awareness on transparency and accountability, and training of journalists. In these ventures, the NRGI has been working closely with local organisations such as the Policy Forum, Agency for Co-operation in Research and Development (ACORD) and the Journalists’ Environmental Association of Tanzania (JET). The activities are as follows:

Strengthening Civil Society’s Role in Natural Resource Governance

The NRGI and the Policy Forum implemented a programme to support the capacity of civil society organisations, Members of Parliament (MPs), and the media in the area of resource transparency and accountability. By then, the government was finalising a new legal and policy framework for the oil and gas sectors, and the Policy Forum—a network of about 80 organisations—produced a technical analysis of the draft bill, and engaged civil society groups, media and MPs.[3]

Building Awareness of EITI

The Agency for Co-operation in Research and Development (ACORD), with assistance from the NRGI, enhanced stakeholder collaboration in the country through the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and developed dissemination strategies for EITI-related information to facilitate greater public awareness on the importance of good governance in natural resources. Tanzania signed up to EITI in February 2009. Two years later in February 2011, Tanzania published its first EITI report and commenced the EITI validation process.[4]

NRGI’s views on Statoil’s Leaked Agreement

In July 2014, a significant addendum to a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between Statoil and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) leaked and ignited a public debate on whether the government “got a good deal” from granting extraction rights to Statoil for a block now expected to produce commercially viable large amounts of natural gas. According to the NRGI financial analysis, the deal “is not out of line with international standards for a country that had no proven offshore reserves of natural gas at the time when the original contract was signed. Thus claims that the addendum is on its face grossly unfair to Tanzania appear to be premature."[5]

Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors

The NRGI offers training to journalists in several countries, Tanzania included. Other countries include Ghana, Republic of Guinea, and Uganda. This training is mainly aimed at improving the media’s capacity to report on oil, gas and minerals. Journalists in these countries need training primarily because many resource-rich countries lack a significant presence of journalists with requisite knowledge and skills to report in depth on oil, gas and mineral issues. The research, "There will be ink", commissioned by the NRGI and implemented by Columbia University’s School of Journalism and School of International and Public Affairs, studies the environment for journalism in Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda and concludes that “most journalism training was short-term with little follow-up or monitoring. Existing training programs had a broad focus on business and economics and failed to address issues about prudent and responsible management of the extractive industries and the revenues they generated.” [6]

In Tanzania, the NRGI works with JET. The first training was conducted in Dar es Salaam, and the second one was held in Kampala in June 2014. The Kampala training was attended by 29 journalists from Ghana, Uganda and Tanzania. Tanzanian journalists came from KwanzaJamii, The Guardian, East African Business Week, Zanzibar Leo, Pambazuko FM, Nipashe, Channel 10, Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation, and the Daily News.[7]

Publications

The NRGI publishes research papers, books and other publications on issues relating to oil, gas and mining. The publications include: Tanzania and Statoil: What Does the Leaked Agreement Mean for Citizens?; Natural Resource Charter; Big Spenders: Swiss Trading Companies, African Oil and the Risks of Opacity; Reforming National Oil Companies: Nine Recommendations; National Hydrocarbon Accounting: A New Methodology for Oil-Rich Countries; How Can Ugandans Benefit from an Oil Windfall? Policy Options to Manage Petroleum Revenues; Azerbaijan: Assessment of Economic and Export Diversification; Assessing Mineral Licensing in a Decentralized Context: The Case of Indonesia; Forecasting Ghana’s Oil Revenues for the 2015 Budget Using a Fiscal Model of the Jubilee Field; and Oil, Gas and Minerals for the Public Good: The Revenue Watch 2013 Resource Governance Index.[8]

References

  1. About NRGI”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  2. About NRGI”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. Strengthening Tanzanian Civil Society's Role in Natural Resource Governance“, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  4. Building Comprehensive Local Awareness of EITI”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  5. Tanzania and Statoil: What does the leaked agreement mean?”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  6. Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  7. Strengthening Media Oversight of the Extractive Sectors”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.
  8. All Publications”, “Natural Resource Governance Institute”, retrieved 27 January 2014.