January 18th, 2013 | by Chris Hufstader
Photo: Anna Fawcus/Oxfam America
Emanuel Gygmah (left), a representative from Simpa village on the local legislature, talks with women traders at a new market facility built there with money from Ghana’s mining royalties. Gygmah says Simpa is not directly affected by mining, but still deserves to enjoy some benefits. People in Ghana are asking their government to use mining and oil revenues to benefit all people in the country, so Oxfam America is working hard to support Ghanaians through the transparency provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The law requires mining and oil companies to declare their payments to governments. This will help citizens to encourage their government to use their national wealth to fight poverty.
Right now US oil companies are suing to block these transparency rules in Dodd-Frank; you can send a message to urge oil companies to drop their support for the suit.
To stay abreast of Oxfam’s work to promote resource revenue transparency, “like” our Right to Know, Right to Decide Facebook page.
November 15th, 2012 | by Chris Hufstader
James Bogoloh (right), an elected member of the District Assembly in Jomoro in western Ghana, talking with Solomon Kusi Ampofo, who works with Oxfam's partner organization Friends of the Nation. Photo by Anna Fawcus/Oxfam America.
Out in Jomoro district in western Ghana, James Bogoloh is looking at what passes for a road through dense forest between two villages near his home in Takinta. He pronounces it “deplorable.” “If it rains it is just not passable,” he says, as a motorcycle carrying two men, one holding a machete carefully off to the side, bounces and sputters past. Bogoloh shows us a concrete structure meant to bridge a low, wet area, and says that the contractor is about to start grading the road surface.
Bogoloh is an elected representative and a volunteer community monitor who is working with Oxfam’s partner Friends of the Nation to teach local people how to ensure that government money from oil and mining revenues is used to improve their lives. His efforts in Jomoro are complemented by a national coalition advocating for better laws to promote transparency of resource revenues, so citizens can see where their national wealth goes.
They are making significant progress, but the track to transparency has its ups and downs: Read the rest of this entry »