"Today, people in resource-rich countries can hold their governments accountable"

Governance challenges of natural resource extraction are enormous. What can be done to improve natural resource governance? Stephan Wolters (adelphi, ECC platform) talked to Peter Eigen, a leading expert on corruption challenges in the sector of extractive industries, in an exclusive interview.


Peter Eigen is the founder of Transparency International, a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development.. Moreover, Peter Eigen was Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) from 2006-11. In this six-part exclusive interview for the platform on Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation (ECC), he provides exciting insights and evaluates success and failure of various approaches, including EITI. The interview will be released from 23rd to 25th April 2014 on www.ecc-platform.org.

Part I: The resource curse: governance challenges of natural resource management “The temptation for decision makers in the host country to accept payments for themselves is huge.”

Part II: The beginnings of improving transparency in extractive industries: the Publish What You Pay Initiative - "Hundreds of millions of people in resource-rich countries can now hold their governments accountable.”

Part III: Why was the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative set up with a relatively narrow focus on the flow of money? - “We did not dare to say anything about the fairness of particular investment agreements. We only said: in that country, in that year, so much money was paid to the government.”

Part IV: How does the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative provide added value for civil society? - “There was a tremendous participation of the people. The reason was that the president of Liberia encouraged it by empowering civil society and making it a part of political awareness.”

Part V: Current developments and future pathways towards improved accountability in natural resource governance - “There is a tremendous normative dynamism in the EITI now. Now they can begin to harvest what we sowed at the beginning.”

Part VI: Is the dragon devouring Africa? China’s investments in natural resources in Africa and its implications for economic development and political accountability - “There are a number of activities that one has to watch very carefully, but I think this task is up to the leaders of Africa.”

About Environment, Conflict, and Cooperation (ECC) The platform functions as a clearing house and a platform for exchange on environment, conflict, and cooperation (ECC). It aims to foster sustainable peace by creating networks among stakeholders from the development, environment, foreign and security communities worldwide.