Tuesday, January 18, 2005


Good News for a Change

This news hasn't filtered into the mainstream press, so I'll have to let the Columbia Earth Institute's press release and a related webpage fill in the details. The tiny islands of Sao Tome and Principe, located off the west coast of Africa near Gabon, have passed an historic law governing the use of the proceeds their newly-discovered oil reserves. According to the release, the law:
provides for the establishment of an oil fund...into which all oil payments are to be made. The law limits the amount of annual withdrawals from the fund and restricts expenditures to national development, poverty reduction and strengthening of good governance. A portion of the monies paid into the fund will be retained to create a permanent reserve to foster development even after oil resources have been exhausted.
The country has been a functioning democracy (despite a few blips) for more than ten years, and has decided to use its oil reserves for the benefit of all its people. Moving.

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