Katherine Lay

Author contributions

UWAZI KWA AFRICA! The Open Government Partnership takes root in Africa

Is the Open Government Partnership (OGP) taking root in Africa? How can we build on initial successes and meet national commitments to open governance? These were the questions dominating discussion at the OGP regional planning meeting in the coastal town of Mombasa, Kenya, where over 100 government and civil society representatives from 16 countries gathered…

The BRICS bet big

Leaders of the BRICS group of emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have announced the formation of a multilateral development bank to finance infrastructure projects and drive economic growth. Assessing the feasibility of a BRICS bank topped the agenda of this year’s BRICS summit, held last week in Durban, South…

Extractives transparency in emerging economies: Are the BRICS willing to Open Up?

This week, the presidents of the world’s leading emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (known collectively as the BRICS) – are meeting in Durban for the annual BRICS summit. The “Africanised Agenda” for this year’s summit, where the BRICS’ cooperation with Africa is under the spotlight, means that investment in extractive…

Guinea’s mining contracts go public

Secret deals and confidential contracts have long characterized Africa’s mining industry. Its history is one of quiet hand shakes and signatures attached to the end of a series of legal provisions that only high-powered political and corporate leaders ever get to see. This is starting to change, thanks to the efforts of the Extractive Industries…

Hard talking at the African Mining Indaba

The annual African Mining Indaba is the world’s largest gathering of mining professionals. This year it brought 7500 investors, corporates, government officials, advocates and academics to Cape Town’s International Convention Centre for four days of discussion about the state of Africa’s mining sector. While the customary deal-making happened on the sidelines, the walls of the…

Resource Revenue Management 101

Say that your country is blessed with natural resources. Oil, gas, minerals – it has it all. The future looks good. But deep down you worry that the bonanza could turn into a bust – maybe you live in Africa and have seen how windfalls have been wasted before. How do you know that’s not…

Making transparency work for development in Nigeria

The Secretariat of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently announced that it has recovered US$443 million of the $2.6 billion owed to the government as revenue by oil and gas companies. Audits produced for the period 1999 to 2008 uncovered huge discrepancies in reported payments and receipts. This information spearheaded efforts by the…

An Extractives Transparency Milestone for Tanzania

3.5 billion people live in resource-rich countries but many are not profiting from these resources. Weak governance is leaving countries “cursed” by conflict and corruption. The Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) was created to help change this. The EITI’s globally developed standard promotes extractives revenue transparency by calling for the full publication and verification of…

From Curse to Catalyst?

A Development-Driven Consensus to Improve Africa’s Natural Resource Governance Africa’s natural resources are an untapped catalyst for massive socio-economic growth. With accountable leadership, responsible investment and the right regulations in place, the natural resource sector can spur Africa’s development trajectory into the stratosphere. This was the conclusion of participants in the BBC’s Africa Debate on…

How Can Africa’s Resources Profit Its People?

Tune in to the BBC’s Africa Debate and Make your Voice Heard Whether Africa will ever harness the full potential of its natural resources to combat poverty is a question that is more relevant now than ever, as new discoveries of coal, oil and gas look set to transform global energy markets and – we…

African Women as Drivers of Development

“We need to ensure that the energy, skills, strength, values and wisdom of women become an integral part of the remodeled economic infrastructures now being developed by global leaders. Empowering and investing in women is part of a global solution for us all, now and in the future.” Graça Machel, African Elder and Activist Former…