Africa ? US: Oil for Africa

It is estimated that by 2015, the US will import 25 per cent of its oil from Africa?s Gulf of Guinea region. As the US increases its interest in African oil, it is important to help educate US Americans about the potential impact and ramifications of business in this kind of extractive industry. The Jesuit Conference (the national office of the Jesuits in the United States) and Catholic Relief Service (CRS) are together sponsoring a speaking tour about the oil extractive industry in order to raise awareness about the environmental and human rights impact of oil investments among the poor in Africa, and the importance of transparency of oil revenues to combat corruption and promote poverty reduction. The tour will also encourage grassroots support for action on oil revenue transparency issues by US Congress and the Administration. The African Oil and Poverty Speaking Tour will visit 10 Jesuit Universities across the United States October 5-20, 2005. The two featured speakers are Fr. Antoine Bérilengar SJ, member of the Petroleum Revenue Oversight and Control Committee in Chad, and Austin Onouha of the Centre for Social and Corporate Responsibility in Nigeria. They will illustrate the human rights and environmental consequences of oil extraction in their countries and bring their advocacy message for greater transparency and the use of oil revenues for development to US audiences. They will also provide examples of how the audiences can help through socially responsible investment and corporate or political advocacy. Fr Bérilengar is Coordinator for the Social Apostolate of Africa and Madagascar Assistancy and serves as a staff member of CEFOD (Development Studies and Training Center) in Ndjaména. [HL50901] For more information, contact Jill Marie Gerschutz at [email protected] .