$2m For Oil & Gas Advocacy

Eighteen Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), including seven community-based organizations, have been awarded a total of grant of $2,000,000 to undertake various advocacy initiatives aimed at promoting transparency and accountability in Ghana’s oil and gas governance sector.

STAR Ghana, a multi-donor funded programme supported by  Department for International Development  ( DFID ), DANIDA, European Union and USAID, facilitated the grant.

This followed a call for proposals on oil and gas in April 2012 on the theme, ‘Promoting transparency and accountability in the oil and gas industry in Ghana.

It seeks to contribute to increased accountability and responsiveness of government, traditional authorities and private enterprise to Ghanaian citizens.

Mary Tobin-Osei, Deputy Programmes Manager of STAR-Ghana, disclosed this at the opening of a two-day oil and gas thematic convention in Takoradi under themed: ‘Strengthening stakeholder collaborations to maximize benefits from Ghana’s oil and gas resources.

‘To achieve this onerous purpose, the programme supports civil society partners and Parliament with grants, capacity building and also foster linkages between civil society, government and the media,’ she added.

Ms Tobin-Osei noted that the oil and gas thematic convention was to provide a multi-stakeholder platform for CSOs, Parliament, media and state agencies to interact and share information on national policy issues related to the oil and gas industry.

Amidu Ibrahim Tanko, Programmes Manager of STAR Ghana, noted that the passage of the local content regulation put Ghanaians at the forefront of all petroleum activities and ensures that they benefited from the country’s new resource.

‘The implementation of this new law is expected to ensure that the oil find benefits Ghanaians while the foreign oil companies also get fair returns on their investment.

He added that ‘there shall be at least a five per cent equity participation of an indigenous Ghanaian company other than the corporation to be qualified to enter into petroleum agreement or a petroleum licence.

He, however, noted that there was no open competitiveness bidding process for oil blocks.

From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi

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