The African Energy Chamber has called for the termination of Glencore’s membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Glencore had pled guilty to seven counts of bribery in London Court in May 2022. The Anglo-Swiss multinational company, which operates an oil and gas office in London, is expected to pay up to $1.5 billion after other subsidiaries pleaded guilty to bribery in Brazil and the US. The company was also named in a massive bribery scandal, in exchange for favorable contracts from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.
In a letter dated June 10, 2022, and addressed to EITI’s chairperson of Directors, Rt Hon. Helen Elizabeth Clark, the African Energy Chamber noted, “In accepting its guilty plea in the Southern District of New York, Glencore agreed that it shall not, through present or future representatives, make any public statement, in litigation or otherwise, contradicting the acceptance of its guilty plea.” Accordingly, it is undisputed that while committing the aforementioned crimes, Glencore was a member of EITI. Therefore, there can be no dispute that while a member of EITI, Glencore violated several of EITI’s rules and regulations. “
The chamber further stated that “due to Glencore’s admitted violations, the board of EITI should terminate Glencore’s membership as doing so will promote justice in the form of retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, and reparations for the admitted crimes Glencore has committed and quite frankly continues to commit in Africa and the developing world. More importantly, we believe Glencore’s termination will also ensure that the image of EITI, as well as the current complaint members, is upheld and will reassure stakeholders that EITI takes seriously its mission, principles, rules, and regulations”.
As it pushes for the termination of Glencore’s EITI membership, the African Energy Chamber is confident that the move will signal to current members that the admitted actions of Glencore were criminal in nature and will not be tolerated as those actions are not aligned with EITI’s mission, values, and principles.
“For years, Glencore has been allowed to continue operating with what seems like a ‘slap on the wrist’ compared to its world-spanning admitted criminal syndicate. What Glencore admitted to doing is not only illegal but completely immoral and unacceptable”.
The AEC further urges EITI to be firm and clear in protecting the African extractive industry so that integrity is maintained while EITI and its members continue improving the investment climate while minimizing corruption and mismanagement of revenue from extractives.
In a previous statement, The African Energy Chamber (AEC), urged the US government to use the USD1.2 billion in penalties Glencore is paying to empower Africans, who are the real victims of Glencore’s wrongdoing.
“Glencore’s penalties should go to organizations like Power Africa, a public-private partnership formed by the U.S. to help address energy poverty in sub-Saharan Africa — a goal shared by the African Energy Chamber. Glencore’s corruption and state capture have undermined efforts to make energy poverty history. Directing money to Power Africa will help change living conditions for more than 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who currently go without reliable electricity”.
The statement also recommended that a portion of the penalty money could also go to Prosper Africa, a US initiative that aims to provide market intelligence, deal support, and solutions to African businesses in order to improve their business climates. Supporting this initiative, the AEC noted, would be a fantastic way to make a positive difference in the lives of Africans and communities.
According to the chamber, African countries would require trillions of dollars to fund their transition to renewable energy in order to meet international climate goals. The African Petroleum Producers Organization and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed a memorandum of understanding earlier this month to establish an energy bank that will boost private sector investments in African oil and gas projects while also increasing revenue for renewable energy projects.
Directing a portion of Glencore’s penalty payments to the African Energy Bank is an excellent opportunity for the U.S. to empower African countries while supporting international climate objectives.