Sana’a, April 9, 2010 — A two day Workshop on The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) was held in Sana’a, Yemen during April 5-6, 2010 with the participation of 45 representatives from relevant CSOs, the government, and the private sector. The workshop was organized jointly by the Ministry of Oil and Minerals and the World Bank.
The main objective of the workshop was to build on the results of the two earlier workshops held with civil society on October 19-20, 2009 and February 15, 2010, and expanding the scope of the discussion to a wider audience, while continuing to focus on CSO involvement. Representatives from two countries known for their successes in EITI implementation, Mauritania and Kazakhstan, participated in the workshop to share their experiences with the Yemeni EITI team.
At the opening session, Dr. Mohamed Saleh chairman of the Yemeni EITI Council praised the World Bank for supporting the organization of the workshop and sharing international experiences on EITI with Yemeni colleagues.
In his opening remarks, Benson Ateng, World Bank Country Manager said "EITI is unique in terms of bringing together representatives from three different groups, private sector, civil society and Government, to work on extractive industry revenue transparency – supporting improved governance in resource-rich countries through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining". He added “Oil plays an important role in the country’s economy, representing about one third of GDP, almost three quarters of Government revenues and 70 percent of exports.
Yemen’s oil reserves are rapidly depleting and based on current exploitation rates, crude oil reserves are expected to be exhausted in the next 10-12 years. In light of the non-renewable nature of this resource and its strategic role in the economy, good governance and transparency of the petroleum sector is particularly important.
Yemen adopted EITI principles and was accepted as an EITI candidate in September 2007. The Yemeni authorities realizing the benefits that the initiative brings, namely, an improved investment climate, a signal to international investors that the government has a clear commitment to transparency and good governance and strengthened accountability that helps promote greater economic and political stability.
The World Bank has supported the EITI process in Yemen through technical assistance to the Ministry of Oil and Minerals and a multi-donor trust fund, since February 2008. The fund, in the amount of US$350,000, supports technical assistance, training and capacity building efforts and an EITI reconciliation audit.