In this video business leader Dr Mo Ibrahim, calls on the Board of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to make beneficial ownership transparency a mandatory requirement for companies that receive oil, gas and mining contracts.
Natural resources are crucial to the development and prosperity of resource rich countries. Citizens own these resources, and have a right to know who controls the companies that extract them and who benefits from the revenues raised. However, in some instances in the past, closed room deals were made which shut out legitimate local companies from the benefits of natural resource extraction. Revealing the ownership of extractive companies helps prevent conflicts of interest that enable corrupt officials to siphon off public monies.
In his video, Dr Ibrahim outlines the business case for greater transparency on the ownership of extractive companies stating that it would ‘safeguard the interests of investors, shareholders and people of the countries themselves’. He goes on to say ‘anonymous companies have no social, economic or business role’ and that business people ‘want to know who they are doing business with’. He concludes by calling on the EITI to continue to show leadership on beneficial ownership – ‘our people really need it and deserve it.’
Dr. Mo Ibrahim is the founder of Celtel International, a telecommunications company operating in Africa. In 2006 he set up the Mo Ibrahim Foundation with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa. He is a Leader of The B Team – a group of business leaders that champions concrete solutions to help make capitalism a driving force for social, environmental and economic benefit.
Global Witness would like to thank Dr Ibrahim and the B Team for their outstanding leadership on ownership transparency issues, including their recent report ‘The Business Case for Ending Anonymous Companies: a Collective Effort’. Global Witness is continuing to campaign for an end to anonymous company ownership.