TRADING SOVEREIGNTY FOR TRANSPARENCY IN THE OIL INDUSTRY IN CAMEROON: IS EITI ABOVE THE LAW?
One of the striking features of modern globalization is the rising prominence of
multi-stakeholder organizations in international economic relations. This rising prominence can be attributed to the quest by States for recognition by international donor institution. Cameroon’s adherence to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiativeould safely be attributed to this motive. The EITI is an initiative whose main objective is to promote transparency and accountability in the extractive industry’s resources management. EITI’s main objective when it was first created was to tackle the intractable problem known as the “resource curse”, by encouraging resource-rich but governance-poor developing countries such as Cameroon, to create domestic systems to improve transparency and social participation in their natural resource sectors. Only resource-rich developing countries were expected to implement EITI, while all other stakeholders –including developed countries –were expected to support the initiative and participate in compliance verification. This article seeks to find out whether by adhering to this initiative, the government has abandoned her sovereign right of governance in favour of collective governance so as to achieve transparency. After examining the concept of State sovereignty and the importance of transparency in the management of oil revenue in Cameroon, this article concludes that adherence to the EITI is merely a smokescreen not intended to affect the sovereign right of governance in any way.