Friday, May 25, 2007

[Guinean news] US spends $4 million on 'good governance'; Parliamentary hearings on Hyperdynamics;

The US ambassador and Guinean foreign affairs minister recently signed an accord designed to promote democracy and good governance in Guinea. The subsidy was estimated at over US$4.7 million, which brings to over $22 million allocated by the US on "democratic governance," according to Ambassador Jackson McDonald. $200,000 of this money will be dedicated to the new National Independent Electoral Commission, reports Guinéenews.

The money is part of the USAID's "Faisons ensemble" ("Let's do it together") program.

Ambassador McDonald said, "The major challenge of Guinea is to create an environment of transparent management that will not only attract but maintain private investments, but also will also help avoid internal conflicts, such as recent events that occurred throughout the country."


The Guinean ministry of mines recommended that it renegotiate its contract with the US oil company Hyperdynamics.

Hyperdynamics is the only foreign oil company prospecting in Guinea, which produces no oil and so far has no proven viable reserves, notes Reuters.

Guinea's new national unity government said that while it wanted to honour deals with foreign investors, they too had a responsibility to help contribute more to development in a country where despite its mineral riches most of the population live in poverty.

"We are not prepared to give away the natural resources of this country. In this regard, I am happy to see that we are in step with the country's national assembly," said Mines Minister Ahmed Kanté, noting that the government wants to change aspects of the deal, not cancel it altogether.

The chairman and CEO of Hyperdynamics Kent Watts told Reuters, "I believe that there are factions in the national government that want to renegotiate the contract and that's not legal."

As reported on this blog previously, Watts recently created a self-described 'registered charitable organization' by the name American Friends of Guinea, which is not in any way affiliated with Friends of Guinea.

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