Cameroon’s Extractive Governance Under Spotlight Following the Glencore Scandal

Cameroon’s Extractive Governance Under Spotlight Following the Glencore Scandal

Cameroon’s extractive industry’s governance practices are currently being examined by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in a routine procedure referred to as “Itie validation”. However, the shadows cast by the 2021 Glencore scandal, exposing a massive global corruption web implicating two Cameroonian companies, has added more urgency to this examination.


In 2021, EITI recognized “significant progress” in Cameroon’s governance of its oil, gas, and mineral sectors and gave recommendations. Nevertheless, the subsequent Glencore controversy rattled the global community. Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss commodity trading giant, was convicted in 2022 by both the USA and UK for bribing officials across several countries, including Cameroon, to gain contracts and evade scrutiny over a decade. Shockingly, no Cameroonian officials have been named or charged, even though Glencore confessed to bribing employees of Société nationale des hydrocarbures du Cameroun (SNH) and Société nationale de raffinage (Sonara). Both state-run companies are currently awaiting evidence to support these accusations.

Recent Discussions

In late August, the Cameroonian perspective of the Glencore scandal was thoroughly debated during a session of the Itie Cameroun national committee in Yaoundé. While the minutes of this session are available on the Itie Cameroun website, a dedicated resolution on the matter hasn’t been released yet. Civil society representatives participating in the debate pressed the government to determine liabilities in the scandal, emphasizing the dent it has put on Cameroon’s reputation and potential revenue loss for the state.

SNH’s Stance

SNH perceives itself as a victim in this large-scale corrupt network. The company claims to have initiated legal action in both the USA and UK to procure evidence and identify the allegedly compromised agents. Glencore, they argue, has imposed a “clause of anonymity”, making investigations challenging. SNH is now seeking EITI’s support to waive this clause.

Pending Actions

Glencore Exploration Cameroon’s delegate suggested addressing all queries to their London office. The Cameroonian presidency disclosed that SNH’s managing director, Adolphe Moudiki, has ordered an investigation, with details still being scanty.

EITI’s member civil society organizations in Cameroon are urging the government to demand reparations from Glencore, similar to the $180 million settlement the company agreed to with the Democratic Republic of Congo in December 2022.

Helen Clark, Chairwoman of the EITI Board, has echoed the sentiments by urging EITI member governments to act promptly, emphasizing that allegations of corruption through middlemen for state-run company contracts blatantly defy the transparency and accountability principles of EITI.

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