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Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Zambia Joins EITI

Press Release from the World Bank :
Four New Countries Join the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Three New Donors Support Implementation through the World Bank  
Washington, May 18, 2009 – The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Board today announced that it has accepted four new countries as EITI candidates: Albania, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Zambia. With these four new candidates, 30 countries are now implementing the EITI process, further bolstering EITI as the standard for transparent management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining sectors.
The EITI Board, the global initiative to improve transparency in the extractives sector, held a series of meetings with diverse stakeholders in Washington DC, hosted by the World Bank Group. Ten donor countries and the European Commission currently provide funding to the World Bank-administered EITI Multi-donor Trust Fund (MDTF)—Australia, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom and the European Commission. Finland just joined as a donor country, and the United States and Switzerland will be joining the donor group soon. The World Bank has been a supporter of the EITI since the early days, and this Trust Fund provides technical assistance for implementation of the EITI process in developing countries.
During last week a series of EITI related meetings also have been held at World Bank headquarters, including a meeting on improving EITI reporting, on sub-national implementation of the EITI process, and on engagement with civil society.
Somit Varma, World Bank Director for Oil, Gas, and Mining said:
“I am encouraged that more countries from Africa and other regions of the world are joining the EITI process and recognizing the benefits of greater transparency in the extractive industries sector. It is, however, only when countries take full ownership of this voluntary initiative that it can succeed. The World Bank is committed to supporting governments in this effort.”
An important theme at the National Coordinator meeting was planning for EITI Validation, the mechanism for external Quality Assurance of EITI implementation in the country. Twenty-one of the EITI Candidate countries are facing a deadline in March 2010 to complete EITI Validation. The need for support of countries’ efforts to go through the Validation process was reiterated by the EITI Board Chairman, Dr Peter Eigen, who said:
“By committing to the EITI and undergoing an independent EITI Validation, governments and companies demonstrate their commitment to openness, transparency and good governance. It is impressive to see all the efforts in EITI implementing countries to prepare for Validation and meet the EITI standard. The international community recognizes such efforts and supports these governments and their stakeholders in their implementation of the EITI”
Since it was put forward in 2002 the EITI has moved towards becoming the global standard for revenue transparency in the extractive industries. Through implementing the EITI, countries bring together companies, civil society and government representatives to monitor and account for payments being made to governments by extractives companies operating in their country. Countries that have met all of the reporting and operational indicators set out under the EITI guidelines and completed a rigorous validation process are then considered to be EITI Compliant, establishing that a country's revenue reporting standards in its extractive sector have achieved a greater level of transparency.
About EITI
The EITI is a coalition of governments, companies, civil society groups, investors and international organizations. All these constituencies are represented on the Board, which is chaired by Peter Eigen. The EITI Secretariat is hosted by the Norwegian Government in Oslo and was formally opened on 26 September 2007. For more information, visit: www.eitransparency.org
Background Information
  • 3.5 billion people live in countries rich in oil, gas and minerals. With good governance the exploitation of these resources can generate large revenues to foster growth and reduce poverty. However when governance is weak, it may result in poverty, corruption, and conflict. The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) aims to strengthen governance by improving transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. The EITI sets a global standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive.
  • The 30 countries that are implementing the EITI are: Albania, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mongolia, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Republic of the Congo, São Tomé e Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Yemen and Zambia.
  • The 13 Donors supporting (or committed to supporting) the EITI through the Multi-donor Trust Fund administered by the World Bank include: Australia, Belgium, Canada, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland (pending), UK, and USA (pending).
The EITI Zambia Scoping Report was previous blogged here.

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