Focus On: Equitable Economic Development

Over the past seven years, ISLP has developed a significant program of assistance to several governments of least developed countries regarding the management and use of their countries’ extractive sector wealth. This program draws on a major ISLP strength: its global access to lawyers with decades of experience in complex economic regulation and international business transactions, including in the extractive sector.

A recent partnership to provide training on oil and gas contracting has been developed with the International Law Institute - African Centre for Legal Excellence (ILI-ACLE). ISLP recruited Marian Hagler and Guly Sabahi, energy partners at Dentons, to lead a June 2013 training in Kampala, Uganda for 20 senior level government attorneys and officials from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. The training addressed the governance structure of the oil and gas industry; the legal and regulatory framework of oil and gas industry contracts; contract negotiation and drafting; legal and financial implications; the role of civil society; and other issues. This successful program led the way to another in Zanzibar on the negotiation, drafting and management of contracts in mid-September. ISLP volunteers Bernard L. Greer, a retired partner of Alston & Bird, and Thomas Studwell, a retired Baker & McKenzie partner, worked with lawyers and junior/ mid-level officials primarily from the public sector of several sub-Saharan African countries to help strengthen their understanding of the legal language of contracts.

Previous work in this area has included 10 workshops by ISLP volunteers for government officials and others in Tanzania. In October 2012 Scot Anderson, a partner at Davis Graham & Stubbs and Andrew Thompson of ACT Financial Consulting led a five-day training on best practices for tendering, negotiating and drafting petroleum and gas agreements.

Among the 35 participants were representatives from the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation, the Tanzanian Revenue Authority and the Tanzania Investment Center. The group was welcomed warmly by the Hon. George Simbachawene, Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals: 

"May I also sincerely thank the ISLP volunteers who came all the way from Colorado and Arizona to be with us in Arusha to help deliver another important workshop. Tanzania, like any other developing country, is still faced with challenges - on how best we can balance the scales on one hand - attraction of foreign investment in oil and gas sector and on the other hand optimal utilization of resources for the benefit of our people."

In November, another team of ISLP volunteers presented a workshop focused on international best practices for negotiating and drafting investment contracts in the mining industry for junior Tanzanian government officials. Tanneke Heershe, a partner of Fasken Martineau and Nic Roodt, Director of Bell Dewar in Johannesburg, also received high praise for their delivery of practical legal tools and information.
ISLP anticipates delivering several additional workshops related to extractive sector management for the governments of Tanzania, Senegal and Zambia.