Accountability Lab is partnering with the Center for Media Studies and Peace-building (CEMESP) in Liberia to pilot an innovative new approach to corruption in the emerging oil industry. The “Oil Talk” radio program aims to disseminate important information on oil revenues and generate discussion among citizens around how these funds are being spent.

“Oil Talk” will be hosted by two community radio stations located in oil-concession counties of the country: Rivercess Broadcasting Corporation and Radio Cape Mount. The stations will use information gathered by the Accountability Lab and CEMESP from the Liberian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (LEITI) as the basis for their discussions. The shows will be hosted in local languages in an accessible format that encourages debate and discussion. CEMESP has begun to facilitate the project by designing a template for the shows and mentoring the journalists who will be responsible for the monthly broadcast. CEMESP has also generously agreed to provide the two stations with an audio recorder, internet modem and stipend for each episode.

The ten-month pilot aims to build the capacity of community radio stations to engage in constructive two-way dialogue. CEMESP Senior Program Officer Albert Ansu said that this stage of the project serves to “challenge community radios to set the agenda for a healthy discourse on oil exploitation.” The Lab’s Executive Director Blair Glencorse said, “ We hope that Oil Talk will empower disadvantaged Liberians with accurate information, solid understanding and opportunities to contribute to the ongoing discussion on critical issues related to oil.”

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