Community Radio in Sao Tome and Principe.
With a population of only 190,000, São Tomé and Príncipe is the second smallest nation in Africa. Exploitation of oil and increased tourism is attracting new investment which creates job opportunities, but is also increasing inequalities and widening the gap between the majority and the élites, as well as increasing pollution and threatening environmental security. The cumulative effect of these factors and bad governance can lead to dissatisfaction and subsequently low intensity conflict.
Earlier this month, International Alert organised a three-day seminar for civil society aimed at exchanging information and increasing transparency in the management of oil revenues in the island state of São Tomé and Príncipe.
In February this year, International Alert organised an awareness campaign around the West African island of Príncipe aimed at informing those living in rural areas about forthcoming oil extraction. The island state of São Tomé and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea is the second smallest country in Africa and one of the poorest countries in the world.
Members of the Chamber of Commerce from São Tomé and Príncipe recently met in Príncipe to discuss the role of the private sector as the country prepares to join the ranks of the oil-producing countries of Africa.
The meeting, which took place at the Príncipe Cultural Center on 20th April, was attended by seven representatives of the national Chamber of Commerce and over 45 members of the Chamber of Commerce of the island of Príncipe.
Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing a significant oil boom and the injection of large amounts of revenues from oil, gas and mineral extraction presents an enormous challenge. This money should serve as a basis for economic growth and poverty reduction across Africa, yet history shows that resource revenues have not generally contributed to better development outcomes.
This is the report of a roundtable discussion organized by the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition, International Alert and UNDP which took place in Sao Tomé and Principe from 29 to 31 October 2007.