The Oil for Development programme in South Sudan

When South Sudan gained its independence as a sovereign state in 2011, the country benefitted from high petroleum revenues, accounting for more than 90 per cent of the total state revenues.
At the time of independence, the OfD Programme provided capacity development support to the Ministry of Petroleum and the Ministry of Finance. When a civil war broke out in December 2013, the bilateral OfD cooperation was reduced to a minimum and suspended in 2016.

An IMF capacity development programme for petroleum revenue management was supported by OfD and continued with some training both in South Sudan and in neighbouring countries. This programme ended in April 2020.

Further OfD support to South Sudanese authorities is contingent on political commitment to implementing the peace agreement and the extent to which the OfD programme possesses the tools needed to support the same peace agreement.

Through this period, OfD has supported the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA) in an effort to retain the possibility for civil society to hold authorities accountable for the management of petroleum revenues and environmental considerations. The programme was implemented in the oil-producing areas of former Unity and Upper Nile, in addition to advocacy activities in Juba. There have also been activities in Jonglei.

In 2019, NPA reports the following results from this project:

NPA supported the Civil Society Coalition on Natural Resources (CSCNR), a coalition of 45 civil society organisations, to develop and disseminate a strategic plan with five key pillars; (i) Responsible Investment in Petroleum and Mining, (ii) Environmental and Social Rights Protection, (iii) Land and Property Rights, (iv) Public Financial Management, and (iv) Policy Analysis and Research.

NPA and CSCNR successfully advocated for the Ministry of Petroleum to include civil society participation in the annual government and investors’ South Sudan Oil and Power Conference.

NPA partners raised public debates in the media through six radio talk shows/call-ins or debates in Juba and Bentiu, as well as several news articles regarding transparency of oil revenues. This prompted the National Legislative Assembly to summon the Minister for Finance to account for the net oil revenue share to local communities and oilproducing states.

In Rubkona county, Unity State, Hope Restoration South Sudan held a training course for local community members on the key provisions of the South Sudan Petroleum Revenue Management Act (PRMA) 2013. Following the training, they formed an informal body called Community Association on Extractives and Environmental Transparency (CAEET), comprising 13 persons. They have submitted a petition to the county authorities demanding transparency in management of oil revenue and proper environmental management, as well as access to information regarding oil activities.

The Workers Trade Union of Petroleum and Mining successfully advocated for the establishment of a sub-office at Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC). They also advocated for the establishment of a labour court and for oil companies to provide life insurance to oil workers. These two demands were accepted by the petroleum and labour ministries respectively but are yet to be implemented.

Published 02.07.2014
Last updated 22.10.2020