The current growth of the extractives sector has undoubtedly reshaped the ecological and socio-economic geography of the Great Lakes sub-region in a manner previously unimagined.
The scale of investments, the range, diversity of actors and the current structure of power relations makes the extractives sector the most important game changer in the pursuit for equitable development in the region. Additionally, the power of financial institutions, multi-national corporations and other private sector actors is growing, and in many cases, undermining democratic processes and shaping development.
Major investment projects in the extractives and associated infra structure projects are being negotiated behind closed doors, giving unprecedented power to corporations while giving little or no regard to social justice considerations.
These investments have accelerated and are poised to create more innumerable social justice complexities. The GLISS Strategic Minerals and Oil Governance Program is anchored on the fundamental objective of creating platforms for knowledge sharing with the aim of minimizing the impact of these developments on communities engaged in the sector.
The program has three objectives therein;
Promotion of regional policy and decision-making on extractives to support a social justice agenda and support the development of community responsive benefit sharing arrangements at the regional and national level, to avail platforms on which the voices of communities in East Africa can be heard at the global and regional level so as to enable acceleration of global governance and social justice commitments in the extractives industry and to promote responsible development of the extractives industries through regional training and capacity building activities.
Alas, the objectives of the program are hinged on four activities designed to realise the objectives i.e. the Annual publication of the Albertine International Journal on Extractives and Petro-politics The Albertine International Journal, the publication of the biannual East African Extractives Barometer which is a comprehensive report on governance, inequality and social justice trends in the sector, the annual executive training program on extractives and investments and the annual Publication of the Benefit sharing Manuscript.