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Thursday, November 07, 2002

In a Reuter's Alertnet viewpoint article Gavin Hayman, a campaigner with Global Witness, argues that money looted from Angolan state oil revenues appears to exceed the entire international humanitarian relief effort. He says that in countries such as Angola, transparency is necessary if international relief efforts are not to be endlessly undermined.

Other quotes include...

"...at least $1 billion -- about a third of Angola’s total budget -- went missing last year."

"The government issues no clear (oil income) figures and state oil companies remain unaudited and unaccountable."

"...major international oil companies -- principally Chevron-Texaco and TotalFinaElf -- refuse to publish any information on their own payments to the state, which constitute the majority of the government’s income."

"Oil companies routinely provide information on such payments in Britain, the United States and every developed country in the world, so why should payments to Angola, or any other developing country, be any different or be confidential?"

"Sonangol's threats to BP show that relying on companies to become voluntarily transparent -- despite their high-sounding mission corporate statements -- is clearly problematic."

"...there is a simple way to level the playing field: publicly-traded resource companies should be required by the national securities regulators to publish a breakdown of all royalties, fees and other payments made for the products of every country in which they operate."

Only when we see transparent and accountable corporate engagement will we see resource exploitation in such countries benefiting their true owners rather than unaccountable elites.

For more details see : Global Witness, their All the Presidents’ Men The Devastating Story of Oil and Banking in Angola’s Privatised War report or www.publishwhatyoupay.org.