Briefing 1 of 5: South Sudan’s extractive industries in ten minutes

OpenOil and Cordaid are publishing a series of policy briefs about the oil, gas and mining industries of South Sudan, Colombia, DR Congo, Guatemala and Nigeria. The briefs are written for the people directly involved and aim to improve the quality of the public debate about the industries. The first policy brief is on South Sudan. Download it here. 

We view these briefings as natural contributors to the transparency movement around the extractive industries of these countries, and hope that they help open a more public discussion around the key issues affecting citizens of these countries and other stakeholders around the world.

The briefings are designed as quick reads covering the range of social, political, economic and environmental issues these industries impact, and are separated into three key areas: Five Features, Five Major Players and Five Unanswered Questions. They seek to make information digestible while illuminating major industry trends.

We aim to reach people in these countries and around the world who are engaged in the industry, or in governance or transparency activism around it, who may want to gain a broader understanding of how it works and who exactly is involved. How, for example, the theft of oil has spurred development of a vast parallel economy in Nigeria. Or details of the confrontation between indigenous peoples and international mining companies in Guatemala. We hope readers will include those in the public and private sectors, journalists and civil servants, local activists and business communities: anyone looking to gain more nuanced understanding of the industries that fuel our world.

As more information on these industries makes it into the public domain, the chance exists to begin to build understanding around them. Public suspicion of the extractive industries remains high around the world, largely because of their secrecy. So these briefings include maps, graphs and data-driven visualizations to draw connections between local geography and national political economy. They contain links and references to other online resources, and we encourage readers to use the briefings as a launch pad to explore each country’s industry in greater depth.

No matter where you are, you can take action only if you are informed. It is our belief that, with better access to information, people can engage with issues around the extractive industries on a level which enables real, mature and informed public discussion. We hope that while reading the briefings you will agree.

For more information about the extractives programs of OpenOil and Cordaid, please contact:

Amrit Naresh, Research Associate: amrit.naresh@openoil.net

Jeroen de Zeeuw, Programme Manager: Jeroen.de.Zeeuw@cordaid.nl

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