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Tullow’s transparency activities demonstrate the business case for openness in Africa

The Financial Times reports today that:

Tullow Oil is to become the first oil company to disclose its payments to foreign governments with the level of detail demanded by anti-corruption campaigners, advancing a transparency drive that has met fierce resistance in parts of the industry.”

Tullow clearly sees the links between their license to operate, transparency and government and civil society relationships. They must be congratulated for this move. 

Whilst oil industry associations such as the American Petroleum Institute are attempting to kill the idea of project-by-project financial reporting in the industry, Tullow has taken a leadership position that should go down well in the markets where they operate. This may be particularly true in Ghana, long a regional leader in West Africa with regard to governance and transparency. 

Tullow have seen the writing on the wall with regard to transparency. The questions are, how long before the other oil companies follow, and when will investors begin to recognise the value of improved relationships with the societies in which companies like Tullow operate? 

(Readers interested in Ghana generally should take a look here)