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National resource charter launched

1st July 2014
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Patrick Rutabanzibwa, PanAfrican Energy Country Representative

Uongozi Institute has come up with a National Resource Charter comprising economic principles that the government might pursue to increase the prospects of sustained economic development.

Patrick Rutabanzibwa, PanAfrican Energy Country Representative and the facilitator of a meeting aimed at collecting views from development partners as key stakeholders to the country development said the 12 principles of the charter is a set of economic principles for governments and societies for managing natural resources for development.

“We are failing to enter into resource contracts as it was in mining and currently in Oil and Gas because our capacity is very low. But if Tanzanians will be empowered then, contracts will be balanced,” said Rutabanzibwa.

According to the principles, resource management should secure the greatest benefits for citizens through an inclusive and comprehensive national strategy, a clear legal framework and competent institutions.

The charter also suggests that resource governance requires decision makers to be accountable to an informed people and it should encourage efficient exploration and production operations and allocate rights transparently.

It also suggests that tax regimes and contractual terms should enable the government to realise the full value of its resources consistent with attracting necessary investments and be robust to changing circumstances.

The development partners agreed with the charter, suggesting that the government should pursue opportunities for local benefits, account for, mitigate and offset the environmental and social costs of resource extraction projects.

According to the charter, nationally owned companies should be accountable with well defined mandates and an objective of commercial efficiency and should invest revenues to achieve optimal and equitable outcome for current and future generations.

However, the government should smooth domestic spending of revenues to account for volatility. The charter calls upon the government to use revenues as an opportunity to increase the efficiency of public spending at the national and sub-national levels.

The charter suggests that the government should facilitate private sector investment to diversify the economy and to engage in the extractive industry. Companies should also commit to the highest environmental, social and human rights standards and to sustainable development.

Moreover, the government and international organisations should promote an upward harmonisation of standards to support sustainable development.
However, giving their views the Development Partners urged the government to ensure transparency in oil and gas contracts.

The partners also suggested that the general public should be educated so that they know exactly how they will benefit from the resources instead of leaving them with high expectations which will not be fulfilled.

They said that the government should build capacity for Tanzanians so that when foreign investors come to invest in the country, they are able to take part in investment activities which will help to have balanced contracts.

They said that there are some concerns that if commercial contracts including those of oil and gas will be opened to the public, they can be manipulated negatively by politicians in order to mislead the public for political gain. 

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN