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About Project |

Background:

The African Petroleum Legislation Atlas (“APLA”) is a legislation gathering, organization, dissemination and capacity building project with three main activities:

  • creation of the APLA platform: a free online one-stop resource for Africa's petroleum legal framework (petroleum laws, regulations and related/associated legislation) with interactive features to provide comparative data;
  • production of the APLA guiding template: an annotated document that outlines a menu of legislative solutions to assist countries in the preparation or revision of their petroleum laws; and
  • capacity building through training (on-ground and remotely) of African legal professionals in the use of the platform, and on overall issues in petroleum law.

The project objective is to support African countries in maximizing petroleum resource benefits through:

  • promoting transparency, accessibility and comparison of Africa’s petroleum laws;
  • facilitating the preparation, revision and implementation of petroleum laws;
  • providing a living database that will catalyse research and policy debates on legal and regulatory issues; and
  • promoting the development of local legal expertise on petroleum laws.

Initiated by the African Legal Support Facility (the “Facility” or “ALSF”), the APLA project is being implemented in partnership with the African Natural Resource Centre (the “ANRC”) of the African Development Bank and in coordination with, Natural Resource Governance Institute (“NRGI”) and the Extractives Hub.


The operational knowledge – relating to the creation of the APLA platform and the coordination of the APLA training is within the mandate of the APLA Secretariat. A dedicated team comprised of staff members from the ALSF and the ANRC. A Project Implementing Consortium (“PIC”) will also be established and will be comprised of reputable international and regional institutions knowledgeable in sector specific issues. Overall steering, guidance and support will be provided by the Project Facilitation Committee (“FC”) which will be composed of the ALSF, ANRC, the NRGI, and the Extractives Hub.

Where we are:

APLA Pilot Platform
As a precursor to the implementation of the full APLA Platform, an APLA Pilot Platform has been developed as a one stop database hosting all the petroleum laws, regulations and related legislations from four (4) African countries: Nigeria, Ghana, Congo-Brazzaville and Chad, in an easily readable, searchable and downloadable format (“APLA Pilot Platform”).


The APLA Pilot Platform will serve as a prototype to the development of the full APLA Platform. The APLA Pilot Platform has been populated by advanced law students forming the Legal Research Team (“LRT”). The LRT for the pilot phase were selected from a leading African university with a specialised programme in petroleum law. In order to populate the APLA Pilot Platform, the LRT undertook training on how to process and analyse petroleum laws and how to upload the laws and regulations on the platform.

Where we aim to be:

Implementation of the fully operational APLA Platform
The APLA Platform will be launched following the successful completion of the APLA Pilot Platform. The APLA Platform will be a free online one-stop resource for African petroleum legislation that provides the public with all existing petroleum laws of the African continent in an easily readable and searchable format. The development of this platform is currently underway. The APLA Platform will host (i) all the petroleum laws, petroleum regulations and related/associated legislation of all the countries on the continent; (ii) a country-by-country specific provision comparison tool; and (iii) interconnectivity with resourcecontracts.org, an initiative that maintains a repository of petroleum contracts.

To continue developing specialized expertise on the continent, the project will continue training LRT’s made up of advanced law students selected from various African universities, representing all five regions of the continent (namely North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa). The role of the LRT will be to populate the APLA Platform by locating petroleum and related legislation, and conducting comparative research on specific topics across different countries’ petroleum legislation, under the guidance of the quality review team comprised of senior specialists in the sector.

Creation of the APLA Guiding Template.
The APLA Guiding Template will be a petroleum law drafting and reference tool that shall provide guidance on the potential elements of a petroleum law in Africa’s current realities. It will cover over 200 topics, each of which will be clearly described, followed by legislative sample provisions, each of which will be accompanied by an annotation explaining the context, issues, and useful features of the presented language. Most of the examples will be drawn from or inspired by current petroleum laws within Africa. Where such examples do not exist, they will be sourced from petroleum laws outside Africa or drafted de novo. The APLA Guiding Template aims to be responsive rather prescriptive, in order to provide a resource that is sensitive to the distinct character of each African country, its existing legal framework and the specific context in which each petroleum sector is situated. The tool will be developed in collaboration with a Review Committee, made up of law firms, international organizations and multi-lateral institutions.