By Francis Tandoh
An energy expert has asked civil society groups in Africa to push for reforms in the extractive sector for the benefit of their people.
Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, Executive Director for the Africa Center for Energy Policy (ACEP), made the call on Wednesday at the Sixth Regional Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub (REIK) Summer School which officially opened here on Monday.
Speaking on ?Political Economy of Extractive Industries?, Adam bemoaned the situation whereby the continent was endowed with abundant natural resources but had little to show in terms of growth and development.
?Citizens do not see the benefit of the resources being transformed into development in their respective countries, as few political elites are enjoying the revenue at the expense of the larger population,? he remarked.
Adam urged the various civil society groups, especially those in resource-rich countries, to begin pushing for reforms in the extractive sector, saying this would bring about good governance, transparency and accountability in the sector to promote growth and development.
He stated: ?In order to ensure the African people derive maximum benefit from their natural resources, there is the need for civil society to push for reforms in the extractive sector as that will bring about the necessary policies and legislations that ensure the resource benefits the entire population.?
Adam said resource-rich African countries were not going to develop in the midst of the plenty unless they got their political economies right.
?If a country has abundant resources and the political economy is not right, there is no way any meaningful growth can take place,? he stated.
The REIK HUB was established by the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) in collaboration with the German International Development Cooperation (GIZ) in 2009.
The school, which is one of the Hub?s core activities, is open to senior level civil society activists who have been engaged in the extractive sector, members of parliaments serving in extractive industry relevant parliamentary sub-committees and senior level journalists and editors that cover issues in the sector.
The course is comprehensively designed to deepen knowledge and equip participants with skills for them to undertake independent analysis of country extractive industry strategies, fiscal and revenue management policies as well as understanding key legislations in their own countries.
The 2015 edition of the school is made up of 45 participants from nine countries including Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.