1 August 2011


Alex Vines

Dr Alex Vines OBE

Research Director, Area Studies and International Law; Head, Africa Programme
Elizabeth Donnelly

Elizabeth Donnelly

Deputy Head, Africa Programme

Heike Baumüller, Markus Weimer


  • Negative impacts of the oil industry are a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), threatening not only the health of local communities, but also the livelihoods they depend on. 
  • While oil companies are implementing certain measures to address these impacts, corporate social responsibility activities largely remain piecemeal and short-term, community engagement is inadequate and requirements for accountability and transparency are either insufficient or not enforced. 
  • In oil-producing countries, the main challenges relate to the lack of political will and capacity to implement and enforce national regulations, highlighting underlying governance challenges that need to be addressed. 
  • The EU, as a major importer of SSA oil and host of international oil companies, has both the responsibility and the opportunity to promote greater sustainability and equity in the sector, in particular through engagement with 'new' producers. 
  • Current efforts to promote greater revenue transparency are important but need to go hand in hand with a push for better revenue management and a greater emphasis on preventing trade in oil sourced illegally or from conflict areas. 
  • There is a need for increased cooperation and coordination to mitigate negative impacts of oil industry activity among all stakeholders. Governments, oil companies, civil society and communities must positively engage and work more closely together.  

This is a European Parliament Report, produced for the Parliament's Committee on Development.