Regional public lawyers to sharpen skills in oil negotiations

Regional public sector lawyers involved in negotiating mining and oil projects will undergo an intensive training this week to hone their skills.
The training which brings together senior public sector lawyers from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda, will focus on exploration, project finance, production sharing agreements and multi-contracting deals, according to the East African Development Bank (EADB), the organisers of the seminar that starts today, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania .
“The five-day training is designed for public sector lawyers and law professors involved in negotiating transactions and drafting agreements on behalf of government in extractive sectors and other large scale projects,” EADB director general, Vivienne Yeda, said.
Ms Yeda said there is a need for laws that will ensure that money from minerals supports regional development and the welfare of host communities and governments.
“Deliberate and determined efforts have to be made to ensure transparency in the contracting process to eliminate transfer pricing, and prevent manipulation of prices and tax evasion, as well as ensure best practices in employment and management of the environment and benefits to the local populations,” she noted.
She stressed that public sector lawyers play a central role in the management of the extractive industry by providing quality aice to their governments.
Ms Yeda pointed out that public sector lawyers played a crucial role in the management of the extractive industry by providing quality aice to their governments.
“It is critical that host countries are able to derive tangible benefits from the exploitation of their natural resources. The benefits should accrue to the local and regional communities in the form of appropriate royalties, taxes, dividends, business opportunities, professional jobs and employment for skilled labour,” she said.

Aice to lawyers

Lawyers cautioned. Lawyers should be keen on achieving a balance in the transactions concluded and ensure value for money for their countries. Very often African Governments receive insignificant royalties, low tax revenues, and certainly no dividends.

lnamono@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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