Africa Would 'Lose from US Repeal'
African governments have been urged by a Ghana-based energy think-tank to condemn any moves in the US to weaken transparency and governance in the international oil, gas and mining business.
The Africa Centre for Energy Policy (Acep) said February 1 it is saddened by attempts by some US Republican senators, including Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, to annul Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) transparency rules in the 2010 Dodd Frank Act.
The US, European Union, Canada and Norway all have rules that require their companies operating abroad to disclose payments made through taxes, royalties, contract fees and all other payments to host governments, said Acep.
This was initiated by the US through the 2010 Dodd Frank Act, and followed through by subsequent SEC regulations, and the 2016 Cardin-Lugar Transparency Rule.
Acep also said that attempts by industry groups, including the American Petroleum Institute, to block US enactment of the rules recently failed in court.
“Ghana, like many other countries, has been a direct beneficiary of SEC rules through contracts and payment disclosures which empower citizens to demand accountability from their government,” said Acep. It said the move by senators represented “an attempt to entrench minority business interest against that of the suffering masses” and called on African governments to condemn such moves.
Acep also called on the African Union (AU) to develop its own rule to regulate companies operating in African countries to disclose payment, contracts and beneficial ownership information as a condition precedent for operating in Africa.
Some AU member states, attending the organisation's 28th summit in Addis Ababa which began January 30, condemned US president Donald Trump's recent executive order banning citizens of seven largely Muslim countries – including Sudan, Libya and Somalia – from entering the US for 90 days.