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Pursuing transparency in the Sudan’s oil industry

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Lack of transparency and corruption are rampant across Sudan. Many stories have been written in different media outlets to highlight the magnitude and scope of these phenomena. However, only a few of these writings measure up to recognized standards of rigorous research and verification of information. Because of these inadequacies, despite the important data that these stories often contain, they end up as little more than sensational news.

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Khartoum Refinery Co. Ltd. installation in Sudan (Xinhua)

Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG) is pleased to announce the release of its first report that focuses on the lack of transparency in the oil sector in Sudan. The report is only the first in a series that will be released in the near future. The overarching objective of publishing these studies is to raise awareness among Sudanese and non-Sudanese readers about the lack of transparency and the corruption in Sudan, in order to spur resistance to, and start addressing, such practices at the local, national and international levels. The oil report concludes with specific recommendations as a pathway to institutionalize a well-founded transparency, not only in the oil sector, but in other sectors as well. The recommendations highlight the necessity of involving local communities in the oil producing states in development plans and activities and environmental protection. Moreover, the report recommends that the Ministry of Oil should regularly publish information pertaining to the daily production; government share; companies’ entitlements; refineries’ intake; volume of exports; income generated; the share of the producing states and expenditure on social development. A further recommendation is that the media need to play a more active role than just seeking information from concerned Ministries, by subjecting this information to rigorous analysis that would enlighten readers about the details of the oil sector.

SDFG launched the ambitious Sudan Transparency Initiative (STI) project in March 2015, to strengthen current attempts to document and study this lack of transparency and corruption in Sudan. One of the important components of the STI project is to commission experts to research, study and write reports on certain sectors and/or subsectors in Sudan.

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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

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