Transparency in Equatorial Guinea

Transparency in Equatorial Guinea

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The lack of fiscal transparency in Equatorial Guinea leads to widespread corruption and negative outcomes for most Equatoguinean citizens.

Corruption & its Impacts

In February 2010, the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released a 325 page report detailing extensive money laundering of corrupt money into the U.S. by foreign government officials, including Teodorin Nguema Obiang from Equatorial Guinea, who has funneled more than $100 million into the U.S. according to the report. 

The Open Society Justice Initiative has published a report that analyzes the impacts of corruption on the citizens of Equatorial Guinea. Click here to read more.

Revenue Transparency

Countries rich in oil, gas, or minerals may receive billions of dollars from the exploitation of their natural resources. In many developing countries that are rich in natural resources, governments do not provide their citizens with basic information about the revenue streams resulting from the country's resource wealth. This opacity creates opportunities for corruption or the inefficient use of revenues by government officials. 

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is a voluntary international effort designed to strengthen governance in resource-rich countries through improved transparency and accountability in the extractives sector, thereby ensuring that revenues from natural resources are used to foster growth and reduce poverty. The EITI supports improved governance in resource-rich countries through the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining. 

Equatorial Guinea, however, was delisted from the EITI in April 2010 after failing to comply with the standards established by the EITI Board.

Budget Transparency

Budgets are an important mechanism for tracking how governments spend money. When budgets lack transparency, citizens are unable to assess whether their governments are spending the country's money wisely. Budget transparency is therefore a critical component of ensuring that citizens have the necessary information to hold governments accountable for the use of government revenues.

The International Budget Partnership biennially publishes the Open Budget Index (OBI) the world's only independent, comparative, regular measure of budget transparency and accountability. In 2010, Equaotorial Guinea scored 0 out of 100 in the OBI, indicating that the government does not make any budget information available to the public. This makes it virtually impossible for citizens to hold the government accountable for its management of the public’s money. 

Equatorial Guinea’s OBI score in 2008 was also zero. Read More >>

Transparency Helps Democracy Take Root

Government transparency, government accountabiilty, and democracy are closely linked. Click here to learn more.

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