Managing expectations in São Tomé and Príncipe

The African island nation makes meaningful progress and is making information about the nascent petroleum sector available to the public.

Wednesday 8 March - The EITI Board declared that São Tomé and Príncipe has made meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard. Validation is the EITI’s independent evaluation mechanism.

With a small population and relatively few other sources of income, expectations for the oil sector to be a source of growth were high when exploration started in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2003.

The country’s Validation demonstrates that the EITI has played a role in managing these expectations regarding the potential revenue from the sector. Stakeholders highlighted the importance it has had in bringing transparency to contributions made by companies, for example for social projects.

The EITI has also increased public understanding about activities in the Joint Development Zone between Nigeria and São Tomé and Príncipe.

Additionally, the EITI has encouraged government agencies to improve their public financial management systems and increased collaboration among government agencies and civil society.

Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EITI, said:

“São Tomé and Príncipe is a good example of managing expectations when the petroleum sector is at its initial stages.”

With input from national stakeholders from government, industry and civil society, Validation has identified next steps to help ensure that the public understands the outlook for the sector and that the government can continue to embed transparency in government systems.

Where more work is needed

Some areas will continue to require additional attention from São Tomé and Príncipe’s government. Corrective actions identified by the Board include the governance of the process itself, the allocation and publication of licences, disclosure of  exploration data, and the reliability of the data.

Next steps

São Tomé and Príncipe’s Validation commenced in July 2016. Following the Board’s decision, the country has until March 2018 to implement corrective actions, when a second Validation is scheduled to commence.

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Notes

For further information about the EITI in São Tomé and Príncipe, please visit the country page on the EITI website and  São Tomé and Príncipe’s own EITI website.