Pits not pitfalls

Published on 10 June 2020

Natural resources utilisation can help or hinder a nation’s development. We help governments across the developing world achieve the positive outcomes that they want from their natural resource endowments.

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The Extractives Hub (Hub) is a project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) that is hosted since 2019 at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy (CEPMLP) within the University of Dundee.

The Hub assists governments in developing countries to embrace the opportunities of the sustainable energy transition by enhancing governance of the oil, gas and mining sectors. The Hub’s services consist of applied research and capacity building in key governance issues such as policy, legal and contractual frameworks, regulatory institutions, fiscal design and revenue management, transparency and accountability. The objective is to boost economic and social development allowing resource-rich countries to eradicate poverty while contributing to tackle climate change. The technical assistance is demand-led and free-of-charge for governments that are in the list of DfID priority countries.

Implementation is coordinated with DfID country offices and is facilitated by a network of Hub national champions in a dozen of countries in Africa, Eastern Mediterranean and Central Asia. The Hub also relies on the CEPMLP as a leading authority in the extractives governance as well as in international trade and investment, with a global network of 6,000 alumni. The Hub and CEPMLP establish partnerships with strategic actors, such as UNFCCC, OPEC, International Energy Agency, International Energy Forum, International Energy Charter, International Bar Association, universities and research institutes in all continents.

It is one of six components of the ‘Releasing the Transformational Potential of Extractives for Economic Development (RTPEED)’ umbrella programme, funded by DfID over seven years (April 2014 - March 2022) to enable developing countries to transform their natural resource wealth into economic growth and poverty reduction. RTPEED is a high performing programme that supports developing countries with oil, gas and minerals to maximise the revenues from these resources to enable them to support growth and poverty reduction by:

Raising global standards for transparency to drive accountability, including using technology tools and building capacity to use the data and providing capacity support to resource-rich countries to manage extractives responsibly and accountably. 

Evidence suggests that programmes which deliver transparency alone are necessary but not sufficient to deliver improved management of extractives, governance, and development outcomes. RTPEED seeks to ensure that transparency leads to accountability and also builds government and civil society skills to manage this sector. More open operating environments and more capable government counterparts facilitate private sector investment in frontier markets. RTPEED supports countries to better manage oil, gas and minerals worth billions or potential income, through improving revenue collection and attracting investment which can deliver higher growth and poverty reduction.

There are three overarching outputs to RTPEED:

  • Output 1 – Widening and consolidating transparency, increasing the number of countries implementing the new EITI standard or equivalent mandatory reporting
  • Output 2 – Citizens in resource rich countries benefit from more effective and accountable natural resource governance, including access and capacity to use extractives data
  • Output 3 – Improving capacity to manage extractives through high quality advice to government on improving extractives management along natural resource value chain

The purpose of the Hub has been under this third output: to improve capacity to manage extractives resources, by enabling access to and promoting the use of relevant information and expert advice. In addition, the Hub team also ensures synergies with the knowledge produced by other components of the RTPEED programme.

To date the Hub has sought to marshal and sign-post existing information and knowledge of the extractives sector via an open online database, such as official government documents (legislation, policy and contracts), country analysis documents, country data, guidelines and toolkits. The resources in the Hub are tagged under more than forty extractives-related topics, such as Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM), Environmental Management, Economic Linkages, Gender and Extractives, etc.; each of these topics includes a pedagogical topic overview.

Demand-driven Technical Assistance has been provided to Hub registered members of the public sector of these DFID-priority countries, within clear Terms of Reference, in close collaboration with DfID.

The Hub is an ambitious project that both thinks and delivers big. We held our phase 2, CEPMLP, launch event in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in October 2019, with representation from all of our in-country Hub Champions across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The phase 1 launch, in 2017, was held at the global-mining event, Mining Indaba, in Cape Town, South Africa. Our land rights and the extractives online conference, held during the COVID 19 pandemic, attracted nearly 900 registered delegates from across the world, and including both senior policy-makers and extractive industries governance professionals delivering on fellow RTPEED-funded initiatives under Outputs 1 and 2 above. The project has implemented a programme of webinars, an online conference, national case studies and policy briefs, and has published a lively, active and informative collection of applied Research Insights. Our project team has won additional funding to deliver collaborative projects, e.g. researching the impact of mining on Africa’s water resources.

In short, the Hub is a project of the UK government to deliver first class research and capacity building for the benefit of developing countries so they can better manage their extractive sectors at the time of the energy transition, contributing to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals


Press Office, University of Dundee

Story category Research