Can Oil and Accountability Mix? Ghana's Experiment with Citizen Oversight of Petroleum Revenues

Date: 
1/6/12

Panel discussion and lunch

Friday, June 1, 2022
12 Noon – 2 p.m.
Oxfam America
1100 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

RSVPs required by May 30 (lunch provided): [email protected]

Keynote speaker:

Major Daniel Sowa Ablorh-Quarcoo, Chairman, Ghana Public Interest and Accountability Committee

Discussants:

Mohammed Amin Adam, Coordinator, Africa Against Poverty, IBIS Ghana
(former convener, Ghana Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas)
Andrew Bauer, Economic Analyst, Revenue Watch Institute

Moderator:

Ian Gary, Senior Policy Manager – Extractive Industries, Oxfam America

Background

Ghana’s recent start of production of the offshore Jubilee oil field in late 2010 has been cause for both hope and concern. There has been significant attention on the challenges Ghana will face as well as issues related to Ghana’s readiness to manage billions of dollars in new oil wealth. In 2011, both the Petroleum Revenue Management Act and Petroleum Commission Act were signed into law, establishing new institutions such as the Public Interest and Accountability Committee (PIAC - http://piacghana.org ) and the Petroleum Commission designed to independently monitor and regulate the sector. Along with key transparency provisions, civil society groups campaigned strongly to keep the PIAC in the Petroleum Revenue Management Act. The PIAC was launched in September last year and has just published its first report looking at the compliance by the government with the Revenue Management Act and giving an independent assessment of the management and use of petroleum revenues. As Ghana’s Public Agenda newspaper said after the report launch, the PIAC is “an innovation that sets Ghana’s petroleum revenue management strategy apart from even those that are considered international best practices and indeed the world is watching to see how it plays out.”

According to PIAC, the body has had to “operate under very difficult conditions since the State has not provided any resources to it since its inception” and has relied on international organizations such as the Revenue Watch Institute and GIZ for support. Will the PIAC prove to be a sustainable model for citizen oversight of petroleum revenues in an emerging oil producer, serving as a positive example for possible future producers such as Uganda, Kenya, Liberia and Sierra Leone? Or, will it suffer from neglect and be unable to robustly fulfill its mandate? Please join Oxfam America and Revenue Watch Institute for the Washington launch of the first PIAC report and a timely discussion of this experiment in citizen oversight of petroleum revenues.

Speaker Bios

Major Daniel Sowa Ablorh-Quarcoo is a management accountant by profession and serves as Chairman of Ghana’s Public Interest and Accountability Committee, as well as on the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ghana. In 2006, the Ghanian government appointed him as Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). During his tenure, he assisted five other African Commissioners in establishing the African Tax Administration Forum. Prior to joining the IRS, he served ten years (1994-2004)as Director of Finance for the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), building on six previous years’ experience as a management accountant with COCOBOD. Prior to this time, he served 11 years as a Paymaster with the Ghana Armed Forces. He has a degree from the Ghana Business School of the University of Ghana, and is presently managing a small cocoa processing company.

Mohammed Amin Adam is an energy economist by profession and currently works with IBIS Ghana as coordinator of the Africa Against Poverty initiative. Previously he was convener of the Ghana Civil Society Platform on Oil and Gas and National Oil Coordinator of Publish What You Pay – Ghana, a civil society coalition focused on promoting the transparent and accountable management of oil and mineral wealth. He holds a B. A. (Hons) Degree in Economics and a Master of Philosophy (Economics) from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He is also a PhD candidate in Petroleum Economics and Policy at the University of Dundee (UK). Mr. Adam was an Energy Policy Analyst at the Ministry of Energy of Ghana and a former Commissioner of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) and also has considerable experience in public service having served his country as a Deputy Minister of State and a Mayor of Ghana’s third city, Tamale.

Andrew Bauer is an economic analyst at the Revenue Watch Institute. Prior to joining, he served on Canada’s G7/8 and G-20 teams as an international economist at the Department of Finance, where he provided economic policy advice and participated in the planning and execution of the G8 and G-20 Summits as well as the preparatory ministerial meetings during Canada’s host year. Recently, his work and research have focused on governance and accountability mechanisms, the role of the international financial institutions, and macroeconomic management in developing countries. He has held positions in government, nonprofits and the private sector, having worked for Debt Relief International, UNICEF-Canada, Transparency International-Kenya, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ-Ghana), among others. At Revenue Watch, Andrew focuses on economic technical assistance and research, including advising governments and civil society on the economic implications of various extractive sector policy options and helping policymakers improve their natural resource revenue management. Andrew holds an M.Sc. in Economics for Development from Oxford University and received a B.A. in Economics and International Development Studies from McGill University.

Ian Gary is Senior Policy Manager for Extractive Industries with Oxfam America. Prior to joining Oxfam in 2005, Ian was Strategic Issues Advisor – Extractive Industries at Catholic Relief Services (CRS) from 1999 to 2005. He has held positions with the Ford Foundation as well as international development organizations in the U.S. and Africa. Ian is the author of the Oxfam America report Ghana’s Big Test: Oil’s Challenge to Democratic Development (2009); co-author, with Terry Lynn Karl of Stanford University, of the CRS report Bottom of the Barrel: Africa’s Oil Boom and the Poor (2003); and co-author of Chad’s Oil: Miracle or Mirage? (2005), issued by CRS and the Bank Information Center. Ian is a management committee member of the Publish What You Pay US coalition which successfully advocated for a new US law requiring disclosure of payments from oil and mining companies to host governments around the world. Ian has been a frequent commentator on extractive industries issues in major media outlets including New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian (UK), Le Monde, Washington Post, Financial Times, BBC, NPR and other outlets. He has testified twice before the US Congress and given presentations at the European Parliament, World Bank, Royal Institute of International Affairs, United Nations, U.S. State Department and Harvard University, among other venues.. Ian has conducted field research on extractive industries issues in Ghana, Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Peru, Laos and Cambodia. He holds a MA degree from the University of Leeds (UK) in the Politics of International Resources and Development and a BA from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.