Session 2 - EITI secretariats on progress, impacts and challenges

This session - EITI progress, impacts and challenges in southern and East Africa: Views of national secretariats - concerned the challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the EITI in four southern African countries – the DRC, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia – and one East African nation – Tanzania. All the countries that have signed up to the EITI had published their latest EITI report with the exception of Madagascar, which had been suspended from the EITI due to political instability.

Claude Kabemba's picture

Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW)

October 3rd, 2012

This session - EITI progress, impacts and challenges in southern and East Africa: Views of national secretariats - concerned the challenges and opportunities related to the implementation of the EITI in four southern African countries – the DRC, Madagascar, Mozambique and Zambia – and one East African nation – Tanzania. All the countries that have signed up to the EITI had published their latest EITI report with the exception of Madagascar, which had been suspended from the EITI due to political instability.

The first speaker, the EITI/Mozambique Coordinator, Rogerio Ossemane, stated that the Government of Mozambique decided to join the EITI in 2008 – the same year that it appointed the Ministry of Mineral Resources as the entity responsible for carrying out the process of accession to the initiative. In May 2009, the EITI International Secretariat accepted Mozambique as an EITI candidate country after reviewing its application, which included the government’s commitment to participate in the EITI and to work with all interested parties in the process.

Ossemane said that various measures had been taken to move this process forward, such as the production and dissemination of the first and second EITI reconciliation reports and submission of the validation report to the International Secretariat. In August 2011, the EITI Board communicated that Mozambique had made meaningful progress in implementing the EITI. The Board added that Mozambique would remain a candidate country until February 15, 2013 and recommended a number of remedial measures. Mozambique has now completed these measures and is in the process of putting forward a request for a review by the International Secretariat.

The national EITI secretariat of Mozambique is made up of five people and has the support of development partners such as the World Bank. A three-year action plan was introduced in 2011 and the country hopes to publish its third report in 2013 in order to be finally approved. A programme to increase the capacity of stakeholders has also been launched.

The second speaker was the EITI/DRC Coordinator, Professor Jeremy Mack Dumba, who began his presentation with a few key principles, including “Publicise all extractive industry payments to the State and publicise all the revenue received by the State from the extractive industries.” He stated that the DRC became a member of the initiative in 2005 and had just published its second report in March 2012, which related to 2008-2009. The first report was published in 2010 and covered 2007. The delay in the publication of the second report meant that the country was unable to attain the required compliance but another extension has been granted to the DRC to publish its third report for the 2010 financial year, which if adhered to could result in its approval. The DRC Coordinator emphasised the importance of this meeting, which was initially supposed to take place in Kinshasa, but was moved to Cape Town on the recommendation of the International Secretariat and SARW.

The third speaker was a member of EITI/Tanzania, Innocent Lugha Bash. He stated that his country became a member of the EITI in February 2009 and its first report was approved in May 2011. He said that the impact of the EITI on Tanzania could be seen in the two ways – an increase in State revenue from the extractive industries and the implementation of various on-going reforms, including:

  • Legal reforms;
  • Local government reforms;
  • Public management reforms; and
  • A national anti-corruption action and strategy programme.

Tanzania’s second report will be published in 2012 and work will be carried out with auditors to analyse deviations from the first report. With regard to challenges, Tanzania has finished drawing up a legal framework for transparency and comments have been obtained from various groups on the EITI law, which could be introduced by the end of this year. The speaker concluded by saying that EITI is bringing about real, positive change in the extractive sector in Tanzania.

The Madagascar Coordinator, Tahiny Tsarabory Judicael, stated that his country had been accepted as a candidate country in February 2008 and that both a national committee and secretariat had been set up in 2011. The first report was published in September 2011. However, the country is currently suspended from the EITI due to the political situation. The speaker stated that the country’s political environment was improving. He added that several companies have come out in support of the EITI process and that steps had been taken to involve Chinese companies. The current target is to amend the law, in particular to make it compulsory for companies to be involved in the EITI process.

The Coordinator claimed that the EITI had encouraged real progress in Madagascar, including:

  • Sparking a genuine debate on the use of extractive industry revenues;
  • Bringing about a revolution in the governance of the sector; and,
  • Ensuring respect for mining tax laws.

The Zambia secretariat was not represented. The chairperson sent his apologies. The World Bank representative, Anwar Ravat, briefed the meeting on the state of the EITI in Zambia. He stated that the implementation of the EITI in Zambia has been effective and that the second EITI report would be distributed as soon as possible throughout the country. Furthermore, the process for drawing up the third report had already been agreed upon. He indicated that there is active participation by all stakeholders in the EITI/Zambia multi-party group, including the new government.

Discussions

The discussions after these presentations were fruitful, especially with regard to the:

  • Efficiency of the groups of stakeholders, in particular the attitude of the government when confronted by companies that do not want to abide by the government’s wishes;
  • Problems of implementing the initiative in conflict-affected countries;
  • Question of accountability and communication strategies;
  • Commitment and effectiveness of civil society; and,
  • Difficulties in promoting transparency without the financial commitment of the government and with some key enterprises, such as Chinese companies in most countries.

Madagascar’s suspension was discussed. Its suspension was due to the presence of a key stakeholder (the government) that is not recognised by the international community and is therefore illegitimate. This situation makes it difficult for the international secretariat to collaborate with the EITI secretariat. Madagascar was suspended a year ago and could be reinstated within the next six months if there is political progress. It was stressed that Madagascar is not unique. Guinea and Yemen have also been suspended for country-specific reasons. Nevertheless, Ms Short acknowledged the quality of the work done by the Madagascar secretariat.

There was a strong view from civil society representatives that the experiences from EITI implementing countries have exposed the EITI’s limitations. The argument is that EITI outcomes are not quantifiable. The series of regular EITI country reports – replete with receipts and payments from mining, oil and gas companies to governments – only satisfy the necessary condition – showcasing revenue changing hands from companies to governments. The real public concern is whether the EITI is having an impact on people’s everyday lives. Citizens expect the EITI to increase government revenue, root out corruption and guarantee the equitable distribution of extractive industries generated revenue.

The EITI must expand to evaluate whether contracts comply with international conventions and standards vis-à-vis local commitments. The corresponding recommendation that the meeting advanced, which was repeated throughout the day, was for the EITI International Board to ensure that on-going reform efforts enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the EITI by expanding its scope to include contract transparency, increased negotiating capacity of communities, improved income distribution through equitable delivery of social services, and minimisation of the negative impacts of mining on local people and the local environment.

About the author(s)

Claude Kabemba is the Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW). In 2006, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) asked him to spearhead the formation of SARW. He holds a PhD in International Relations (Political economy) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Thesis: Democratisation and the Political Economy of a Dysfunctional State: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo). Before joining SARW, he worked at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Electoral institute of Southern Africa as a Chief Research Manager and Research Manager respectively. He has also worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Centre for Policy Studies as Policy Analyst. Dr. Kabemba’s main areas of research interest include: Political economy of Sub Saharan Africa with focus on Southern and Central Africa looking specifically on issues of democratization and governance, natural resources governance, election politics, citizen participation, conflicts, media, political parties, civil society and social policies. He has consulted for international organizations such Oxfam, UNHCR, The Norwegian People’s Aid, Electoral Commissions and the African Union. He has undertaken various evaluations related to the work of Electoral Commissions and civil society groups interventions in the electoral process in many African countries. He is regularly approached by both local and international media for comments on political and social issues on the continent. His publication record spans from books (as editor), book chapters, journal articles, monographs, research reports, and newspaper articles.

Contacts

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