After submitting their national processes to international certification, six EITI implementing nations were deemed EITI compliant. These countries are: Kyrgyzstan, Yemen, Norway, Niger, Nigeria, and Niger. The number of countries deemed compliant by the EITI international board rises to 11. Azerbaijan, Liberia, Ghana, Mongolia, and Timor-Leste were the first five nations.

There are still twenty-four countries on the EITI candidate list. Afghanistan, Albania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Indonesia, Iraq, Mozambique, Togo, Guatemala, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo are among these.

Ghana reaffirmed its dedication to openness and responsibility in the administration of the country’s natural resources.

Speaking on behalf of the President, Ghana’s Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Mike Hammah, gave a speech in which he reaffirmed the country’s dedication to better governing its natural resources by increasing transparency in revenue receipts, their management, and their use, and by applying the same principles of transparency and accountability to the entire value change of natural resource extraction.

According to the Minister, Ghana’s dedication to date is evidenced in the fact that it has issued six EITI audit reports from 2004 to 2008, and the seventh report is now being prepared. This effort was launched in 2003. He added that Ghana has taken the initiative to expand the EITI to the sub-national level, paving the door for the initiative to reach deeper into the lives of host communities affected by the extractive sector.

He hinted that recent institutional and policy reforms in Ghana’s mining sector were informed by the country’s EITI reports. He listed as examples the creation of guidelines for the use of mineral royalties at the sub-national level and a review of the fiscal environment under which the mining industry operates.

The Minister also revealed that Ghana is working to expand the EITI to include the oil and gas industry. The revenue coming to the government from oil and gas will be documented and publicly reported through the EITI reporting process, he said, adding that “a new and an expanded Multi-stakeholder Group has been inaugurated to oversee the implementation of the initiative in the oil and gas sector.” He said this will lead to a closer look at how the oil money is being spent.

According to the Minister’s opening remarks, Ghana joined the EITI in 2003 and has since published six reports. On October 19, 2010, following international certification of its methodology, the country was deemed EITI-compliant.

The World Bank is urging participants to do more with this opportunity.

World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati spoke at the 5th Global EITI Conference in Paris, where she emphasised the importance of preserving the benefits of EITI, strengthening civil society, and taking more proactive measures to achieve better outcomes. The Bank restated its dedication to assisting resource-rich countries in implementing the programme and urged stakeholders to produce more concrete results as a means of further reinforcing openness and accountability.

“Indeed, the long-term test for EITI success will be the extent to which it meets expectations on its contribution to good management of natural resources for the benefit of all citizens, now and for future generations,” added Inddrawati. Noting that transparency matters and that the potential for transparency is always there, but needs to be unlocked by the voices and actions of all, she urged resource-rich countries who have not yet joined the EITI to do so as soon as feasible.

Liberia discusses what it has learned from the Initiative’s implementation.

Only two years after being accepted as a candidate, in October 2009, Liberia became the second country in the world to achieve EITI compliance. The Liberian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Act was passed in July 2009, making it one of the few countries to require disclosure of company payments and government revenue in the pursuit of transparency and accountability in the natural resource sector. When it comes to requiring openness in mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and forestry contracts and licences, Liberia has been a pioneer.

Green Advocates, a Liberian civil society organisation, released a report at the 5th Global EITI Conference in Paris that details the successes and difficulties of the Liberian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI).

Support Guinea in revising its mining laws

George Soros, creator of the Open Society Foundations, and his team visited four days in Guinea before the Paris EITI Conference at the invitation of President Alpha Conde. Author of “The Bottom Billion” Paul Collier joined them.

The goal of the invitation was to discuss how George Soros, through his foundations could promote Guinea’s ongoing revision of its mining code. According to reports, Alpha Conde has pledged to improve the administration of justice and the management of the county’s natural resources. According to reports, the President has dropped hints that a new mining legislation is being drafted, one that includes a commitment to EITI and a defined norm of behaviour that discourages corruption. There will be a review of all current agreements. The EITI principles must be followed, and contract holders and the countries in which they reside must cooperate with law enforcement agencies during criminal investigations.

From what has been stated above, it looks that Guinea also plans to enact EITI legislation. The government is looking to hire legal counsel from the Revenue Watch Institute and the International Senior Lawyers Project.

Resource Transparency Agenda and the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010

Oil, gas, and mining companies that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are required by law to disclose the amounts they pay to foreign governments and the U.S. government. This provision was included in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which was passed by Congress in July 2010. Rules governing and enforcing the disclosure clause are expected to be adopted by the SEC by March 2011. The Centre for Global Development in the United States, however, claims that the new law does little to level the playing field. It argues that the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative is still the best way to implement this globally unified standard.

Many governments still resist company-by-company reporting, despite the fact that 41 of the world’s top oil, gas, and mining corporations conform to the EITI standard, which provides countries the option of either aggregating revenue flows or disclosing company payments. Opponents of company-by-company reporting claim it will give their rivals an unfair advantage in the marketplace.

The playing field will be uneven because many major natural resource companies headquartered in China, Russia, and India will not be required to declare their payments.

The Centre for Global Development argues that investors would profit from a globally comparable standard that mandated company-by-company reporting if it forced all companies, including those in Russia, China, and India, to give transparency on an equal basis. According to the Centre, EITI is the most promising mechanism for creating this kind of equal playing field. As a result, the Centre has strongly recommended that all EITI-implementing countries incorporate company-by-reporting into their mandates.

A definition of EITI would be helpful.

At the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested what would become the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). Its foundation rests on the assumption that citizens of resource-rich countries have not reaped the full advantages of the extractive sector due to corruption and poor financial management. As a result, the EITI process works to make the extractive industry more transparent, with the goal of ensuring that the sector’s profits are tallied and divided fairly. In other words, the goal of the EITI is to improve natural resource governance in resource-rich countries by making all payments and government income from oil, gas, and mining fully transparent and independently verified. The ultimate goal is for communities impacted by the extractive industry to achieve sustainable development, reduce poverty, and end conflict and social tension.

The Government drives the EITI process, while civil society acts as a watchdog to make sure the goals are actually achieved.

On March 2 and 3, 2011, Paris hosted the 5th Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Global Conference, where representatives from governments, corporations, and civil society organisations discussed the initiative’s impact on their respective countries.

At the Conference, former UK Minister for International Development Ms. Clare Short was officially installed as the new Chair of the EITI Board, succeeding Mr. Peter Eigen, the founder of Transparency International.

Among the list of presenters are:

•• RICHARD BOUCHER, Deputy Secretary General, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development •• HE FRANÇOIS YANGOUVONDA, BOZIZÉ, President of Central African Republic •• PAUL COLLIER, Professor, University of Oxford •• PETER EIGEN, Chair, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative •• PRAVIN J. GORDHAN, Minister of Finance, South Africa •• HE ARMANDO GUEBUZA, President of the Republic of Mozambique •• MO IBRAHIM, Chair and Founder, Mo Ibrahim Foundation •• SRI MULYANI INDRAWATI, Managing Director, The World Bank •• HE JAKAYA KIKWETE, President of Tanzania •• HUGUETTE LABELLE, Chair of the Board of Directors, Transparency International •• HE ROZA OTUNBAYEVA, President of Kyrgyz Republic •• HE HENRI DE RAINCOURT, Minister for Cooperation, France •• KEITH SKEOCH, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Life Investments •• HE WAHIDULLAH SHAHRANI, Minister of Mines, Afghanistan •• CLARE SHORT, Chair-candidate, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative •• GEORGE SOROS, Founder, Open Society Foundations •• NOBOU TANAKA, Executive Director, International Energy Agency •• SIMON TAYLOR, Founding Director of Global Witness •• HE FAUSTIN ARCHANGE TOUADERA, Prime Minister of Central African Republic •• HE STEVEN VANACKERE, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Institutional Reforms, Belgium •• PETER VOSER, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell •• HE OMAR ZAKHILWAL, Minister of Finance, Afghanistan

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