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Tuesday
Feb072017

Dispatch from Africa: Repeal of extractive industries disclosure rule hurts us

Dear FCPA Blog,

Thank you for your post yesterday about repeal of the SEC's extractive industries disclosure rule.

The post really clarified the issue for me and I appreciate your taking the time and trouble to enlighten me and other readers. I understand the reasoning of U.S. companies where that disclosure rule is concerned, and I hear their argument that the FCPA is itself a very powerful tool in the fight against corruption.

The regret for activists in countries like Nigeria is that this repeal extinguishes a much-needed flashlight into the financial dealings of our government. The transparency introduced by that law would have greatly assisted in informing the local citizenry and advancing the fight against corruption.

Unfortunately we have had limited success with our own local mechanisms (e.g our Freedom of Information law) for insisting on transparency in government, and so we have come to rely much more on the effectiveness and integrity of laws like yours to fight our developmental battles.

I guess what this means is that citizens in countries like mine have to wean themselves off the legislative assistance provided by other countries, and insist upon accountability in government ourselves. We have a lot of growing up to do, and we cannot continue to lean upon crutches while our own legs atrophy.

Best,

[name withheld]