Publication Type: 
Research on the EITI
Published Date: 
January, 2009

“Good governance” and the extractive industries in sub-Saharan Africa

Gavin Hilson and Roy Maconachie, Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy Review, Volume 30, Issue 1 January 2009 , pages 52 - 100.

The article critically examines the challenges that come with implementing the EITI -a policy mechanism marketed by donors and Western governments as a key to facilitating economic improvement in resource-rich developing countries-in sub-Saharan Africa. The forces behind the EITI contest that impoverished institutions, the embezzlement of petroleum and/or mineral revenues, and a lack of transparency are the chief reasons why resource-rich sub-Saharan Africa is underperforming economically, and that implementation of the EITI, with its foundation of "good governance," will help address these problems. The position here, however, is that the task is by no means straightforward: that the EITI is not necessarily a blueprint for facilitating good governance in the region's resource-rich countries. It is concluded that the EITI is a policy mechanism that could prove to be effective with significant institutional change in host African countries but, on its own, it is incapable of reducing corruption and mobilizing citizens to hold government officials accountable for hoarding profits from extractive industry operations.