Grant Announcement: Global Witness
We are thrilled to continue our support of Global Witness with a grant of USD 10,000. Global Witness is a non-profit organization that investigates and campaigns to prevent natural resource-related conflict, corruption and associated environmental and human rights abuses. Empowers Africa’s grant of USD 10,000 will support Global Witness’ continued fight to protect Virunga National Park, its wildlife and its inhabitants.
Amongst many other initiatives, Global Witness works to expose horrific conflicts fueled by the blood diamond trade across Africa, predominantly in Liberia and Angola. These findings were later utilized in the production of the 2006 film Blood Diamond. Furthermore, their investigations in Liberia played a central role in bringing an end to the brutal civil war in Liberia by terminating the funds controlled by President Charles Taylor. This action later led to his arrest and conviction of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Global Witness continues to battle the exploitation of Virunga National Park in the Congo. For the past three years, Global Witness has driven a major international campaign to stop oil companies drilling in Virunga and the surrounding regions. Additionally, the non-profit currently focuses their efforts on ensuring UK-listed Soco activity in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is properly investigated by reliable authorities. Despite promising success, Virunga nevertheless continues to face permanent threats from oil exploration in the DRC and Uganda as the government plans to allocate an oil license in Lake Edward, thereby posing a direct threat to the region.
The Ugandan government recently accepted bids for six oil blocks in western Uganda. The Ngaji Block on Lake Edward, bordering Virunga National Park. Consequently, Global Witness launched an investigation to cement the oversight of the Congolese government on the drilling on the Ugandan side of Lake Edward. This investigation concluded with the EU parliament passing of a resolution calling for EU states to help prevent oil drilling in the park and surrounding areas.
Empowers Africa’s grant of USD 10,000 will support Global Witness’ continued fight to protect Virunga and enable advocacy work in the UK and DRC to hold Soco accountable for its exploitation of Virunga and raise awareness for the multiple other atrocities facing Virunga today.
To learn more about Global Witness, visit https://www.globalwitness.org/en/