Oilwatch Africa - Who we are

Oilwatch Africa is the Africa regional unit of Oilwatch International


Oilwatch is a network of resistance to oil civilisation, over-consumption and waste of the gifts of nature.


Oilwatch was born in 1996 as a resistance network to oil activities, but due to the current crisis of civilisation, we need to strengthen our alliances and coordination with other struggles against war, debt, uncontrolled urbanisation, mining, free trade agreements, agroindustry, climate change and gender issues. Oilwatch exists and works to stop the expansion of socially destructive and environmentally damaging coal, oil and gas activities in the world. Since inception of Oilwatch, there have been changes and the crises of civilisation and related modes of energy production and these require that we review our initial principles.

To achieve the above, members of Oilwatch International agree to work with the following principles:

  • Oilwatch is a network of resistance to oil civilisation, over-consumption and waste of the gifts of nature
  • Oilwatch is a network that builds solidarity and fosters a common identity among peoples of the Global South and the elsewhere. Oilwatch understands similarities in the current pattern of resource exploitation in countries of the Global South, and affected peoples in the rest of the world which reflects historical legacy of disempowerment of peoples, plunder of natural resources and destruction of environment, and considers the recognition of the right of peoples to self-determination and cultural integrity as primary in the resolution of environmental problems.
  • Oilwatch recognises the impacts on affected peoples during the social metabolism of hydrocarbons, both in terms of energy and inputs in the petrochemical industry chain.[1]
  • Oilwatch has an underlying aim of fostering movement building locally, nationally and internationally with people and communities affected and/or resisting fossil fuel extraction activities.
  • Oilwatch members support the initiatives of local peoples to resist coal, oil and gas activities. When devastation and violations occur, Oilwatch supports local demands for holistic and comprehensive reparations and restitution in order to achieve justice.
  • Oilwatch is a network, which applies and fosters decentralization. It works more as a movement rather than a centralized entity.
  • Oilwatch creates consciousness about the necessity of a just transition toward a non-fossil fuel based civilisation that respects the rights of humans and nature.
  • Oilwatch promotes alliances with other sectors of the society, that struggles against war, debt, unchecked urbanisation, free trade agreements, agroindustry, climate change to obtain greater legitimacy with society and to project the links.
  • Oilwatch encourages food and energy sovereignty democracy, equity, autonomy[2] and Ubuntu[3].

Oilwatch has an underlying aim of fostering movement building locally, nationally and internationally with people and communities affected and/or resisting fossil fuel extraction activities.

Oilwatch creation was inspired by the need to develop global strategies for the communities affected by oil activities; support their resistance processes because they didn't want to see their territories damaged; work for sustainability and defend their collective rights.

Within the activities of the network are the exchange of information on oil activities in each country, the companies' operation practices, the different resistance movements and the international campaigns against specific companies.

Oilwatch aims to increase environmental awareness at a global level unravelling the impacts of the oil activities in tropical forests and local populations by establishing a link between the destruction of biodiversity, climate change, violations to human rights and the role of the Multilateral Banks of Credit.


Oilwatch was created on February 1996 in Quito, Ecuador with the presence of 15 organizations from the following countries: Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon, Gabon, Thailand, Sri Lanka, East Timor, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia and Brazil.

Oilwatch members are groups from countries that accept the principles of Oilwatch International.

  • Resistance Bulletin for its members in English, French and Spanish that circulates by email.
  • Elaboration of technical reports on companies and oil operations (the Secretariat has a database)
  • Production of information for its dissemination and materials to support the campaigns (depending on the activities of the campaign, printed materials or other type of materials).
  • Book production of cases of resistance or other issues
  • Maintenance of the website with information on the oil industry and the resistance processes.
  • Oilwatch organizes and facilitates the participation of members of the network in meetings related to oil problems and other related issues
  • Organizes exchanges between affected people from different regions and countries
  • The network organizes workshops or courses with groups of affected people or potentially affected that include itineraries for the observation of affected areas and negative impacts.

Oilwatch aims to:

  • support campaigns proposed by the members of the network
  • develop links between campaigns
  • link campaigns with similar proposals or strategies 

NGOs, Networks of NGOs, organizations or individuals interested in working in a network of
resistance to oil activities, following the impacts of oil companies at the local and global level and developing campaigns against these companies, can be part of Oilwatch. To be a part of the network the interested party should agree with the principles and strategies of the network and could ask for a membership to the focal point of their home country, to the regional office or the Secretariat through a formal letter that points out their fields of work, email, telephone, and fax to the following address:


Oilwatch Uganda,

National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE)





[1] This includes exploration, extraction, transport, stocks and transformation, consumption and wastes. It also includes the cases where offset mechanisms are implemented

[2] Autonomy here means that decision making processes of communities are free from third party interferences

[3] Ubuntu is the philosophy that refers to the interconnectedness of human beings.