Business News of 2014-04-09

‘Promote transparency in extractive industry’

A three-day workshop for 40 journalists drawn from both print and electronic media countrywide has ended with call on reporters not only to deepen their knowledge but also double their reportage on the extractive industries.

Journalists should also deepen their efforts by engaging more with other stakeholders especially civil society organisations in the sector to enhance a deeper understanding of the sector.

The workshop provided a platform for them to discuss the work of the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC), a body create under the Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2011, Act 815 and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) reports to enhance understanding of the governance aspect of the sector to generate informed and broad national discourse.

Discussants agreed that a quick scan has shown that the media’s involvement in strengthening accountability in this sector is rather weak as most of the coverage or reportage is either on illegal small scale miners and other related activities or industry threats to lay off its workers while deeper issues are left un-followed.

It is against this background that GIZ in cooperation with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has collaborated with the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) to hold series of capacity development initiatives.

The workshop also emphasised on the benefits of good governance reportage, that is transparency and accountability in the extractive sector geared towards inclusion and sustainable development.

Organisers of the workshop strongly believe that media plays a crucial role in the quest to promote good governance, both in terms of holding governments accountable and also in terms of keeping the gates, investigating and keeping watch on those institutions put in place to ensure the effective prevent and combat corruption.

A critical role of the media is to give the people access to balanced information so they can make informed social, economic and political choices that affect their lives. Open and inclusive systems of governance make it more difficult for injustices to occur

We also believe that the media with oversight responsibility will complement the work of the Parliamentary select committee on the sector to strengthened accountability and highlight the negative implications of the non-transparent sector governance to the economy, host communities and the larger society.

Source: graphic.com
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