World Bank to provide Senegal $29 million to bolster oil sector

DAKAR (Reuters) – The World Bank will provide $29 million to help Senegal as it negotiates oil and gas contracts with producers, it said on Wednesday.

Oil firms including BP and Total are developing previously untapped oil and gas fields off Senegal’s Atlantic coast that could bring billions of dollars of profits to the impoverished country in the next decade.

But many citizens have expressed concern that a lack of transparency and the terms of recent contracts mean that the financial benefits may not filter down to the wider economy.

“Enhancing the governance of the extractive sector, strengthening the regulatory and fiscal framework and promoting greater accountability between government and citizens will be essential to ensure everyone benefits from natural resource endowments,” said World Bank Country Director for Senegal Louise Cord.

It was not immediately clear where the money would go, but the World Bank said it would help the government oversee the oil and gas development and be more transparent in its negotiations.

(Reporting by Edward McAllister; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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