All too often, African countries that are rich in natural resources are plagued by political and commercial corruption, social inequality and the instability that results from systems that fail to meet the basic rights of its people. A continent that is rich in natural resources like oil, gas, diamonds and other extractive resources, is made poor by the human errors that are fed by greed.
In Uganda, where oil was recently discovered, groups like Global Rights Alert are fighting to make sure the country is adequately compensated for this precious resource, the money from which can help fight poverty and disease, as well as help the country develop economically.
To help ensure that oil and gas companies don’t take advantage of Africa’s natural resources and that countries like Uganda are paid the money they deserve for the sale of their oil, we need transparency — meaning we need laws that require big oil, gas and other extractive companies to say how much they’re paying developing countries for their resources.
Momentum is building behind this idea. The U.S. passed a law requiring companies to publish what they pay foreign governments and France’s President Sarkozy expressed support for similar laws in the EU.
Next month, a major international conference will take place on this issue and a supportive statement from UK Chancellor George Osborne would greatly help the chances of transparency laws spreading throughout the EU.
Sign the petition asking Chancellor Osborne to publicly support transparency. It’s time that we ensure the money for Africa’s natural resources is directed into the right pockets, and not padding transnational corporate greed.