It’s good to see the Statoil gas story continues to make headlines in the Tanzanian press. Today (Monday) saw The Citizen lead with the story, asking some very pertinent questions about the contract and TPDC’s response to it.
I disagree with the TPDC statement, which I feel continues to misunderstand the issue. They are still not engaging with the key point: that the terms of the signed PSA (the leaked document) are significantly worse for Tanzania than the terms of the model PSA.
But it’s actually a different point I want to focus on here: transparency. Continue reading →
Has Tanzania fulfilled its commitments in the first phase of the Open Government Partnership? My view, at the time of the OGP Summit in London last year, was that very little had been delivered. I found that only two out of 25 commitments had been fulfilled, though some progress had been made towards fulfilling others.
Three out of 25 commitments have been completed, substantial progress has been made against four commitments, and limited progress in eight. That leaves five commitments where there was no progress at all, and five where it was unclear. Continue reading →
I an honoured to be able to use this blog to host a guest post from Nikhil Dey of MKSS, an Indian right to information group. It follows the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in London, at which Nikhil and his colleagues made a great impression, both on me personally and on the summit as a whole. He and Aruna Roy, also of MKSS, share a seat on the OGP Steering Committee.
The real story of “open”
There were many things from the London Summit that stand out for us, but here is one that will give you a delightful surprise about the mysterious ways in which the OGP story has spread. More than that, it will give you an idea of the good things of London, of why cab drivers have such a good reputation, and of the humanity and goodness of the ordinary citizen of the world.
Three of us (Kamayani, Shankar, and I) had pre-booked a cab for the airport on a taxi service that takes bookings for cheap taxis in London. We boarded at our hotel, and left by a route where our cab driver informed us we would not get caught in a protest march being undertaken by the Tamil Tigers. After we introduced ourselves to him, the driver told us that his name was Amani, and that he was from Tanzania. Continue reading →
President Kikwete made a bold promise last week, to enact a law that obliges the Tanzanian government to provide any information requested by citizens, with the exception of information relating to national security. You can see this for yourself, in this YouTube video posted by the President’s press office (the key section starts at 8mins 40 seconds):
President Kikwete at OGP Summit in Brazil, April 2012. Photo from ikulublog.com
Tanzania has made strong statements about the Open Government Partnership (OGP). It has also promised to deliver. When President Kikwete spoke at the OGP Summit in Brazil in April 2012, he said:
“I promise that we will do our best to live up to the expectations of this partnership to promote transparency and accountability of our government to the people of Tanzania. I wish to reaffirm that our political will to achieve the OGP goals will not falter because open government is at the heart of the contract between state and citizens”
But is Tanzania is living up to these bold words? The sceptics out there are not so sure. Continue reading →