Dr. Mohammed Amin Adam, the executive director of the Accra based Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has advised Ugandan authorities to emulate South Sudan and vet the ownership of companies who step into the country with the aim in participating in the extractives industry.
"In South Sudan, their law requires that a company must disclose all its beneficial owners, as well as the affiliates of the company before they can deal with you as far as oil contracts are concerned. I want Uganda to do the same," he said.
Adam was speaking yesterday at a high level multi-stakeholder dialogue on contract transparency and monitoring at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
"Beneficial ownership information is key in unraveling corruption, addressing issues of illicit financial flows," he said.
Adam shot down the myth that contract transparency reveals commercially sensitive information, and puts investors at a disadvantage. He also took exception to the claim by some players in the industry that contract transparency scares off investors.
"Experience in Ghana, Liberia, Guinea has shown that contract transparency has not scared away investors. More investors have come into these countries despite the regime that requires the disclosure of contracts," he said.
State minister for Minerals Peter Lokeris, who attended the dialogue, concurred with Adam on the need for transparency in the extractives industries.
"Contract transparency is one of the pillars towards increased investment in any country involved in the extractives industries. It also plays a key role in creating stability for extractive companies since their dealings will be known and monitored to the majority," he said.
The dialogue was organized by the Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) in partnership with the civil society coalition on oil and gas, Uganda Contracts Monitoring Coalition and the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).