This contribution focuses on the inequalities that result within countries as a result of the activities of the oil and gas industry and which endure in spite of the local content policies that are adopted. Without endorsing local content as a legal/policy option that captures the position of local communities regarding the oil and gas industry, it argues that it is necessary to clarify the definition of local content because if the scope of local content is unknown, there is a likelihood that it will remain difficult to determine whether goals are being met especially with regard to host and impacted communities.
Over the last decade, and especially in the mining sector, African state actors have begun to denounce unequal mining contracts, and are increasingly reviewing mining contracts accordingly. While African host states are seemingly taking it upon themselves to remedy real and perceived imbalances vis-à-vis investors in their mining contracts, a key question remains what structural reasons have led to such imbalances in the first place, and whose responsibility it is to address these structural issues: host states, investors, home states, international financial institutions, or all the above? This brief discussion contextualizes how responsibilities to redress unequal mining contracts may be shared.