WASHINGTON, April 13, 2010 – Ahead of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board meeting in Berlin on April 15-16, the World Bank Group today called on candidate countries to maximize their efforts to achieve the key transparency milestone of completing EITI validation as soon as possible.
Two countries – Azerbaijan and Liberia – completed validation in 2009 and were subsequently designated “EITI-compliant.” Sixteen more candidate countries are now working to complete the validation process. Eight of those countries have already sent in a draft or final validation report for review by the EITI Board. Three countries have validators working on the reports and will soon issue them. Five countries are in a bid process for hiring validators. And only four countries have not yet begun the validation process, of which two are in/or seeking a voluntary suspension.
“The World Bank Group is encouraged by the tremendous progress that has been made and we are supporting several countries in their efforts to finish the validation process,” said Paulo de Sa, Manager of the World Bank’s Oil, Gas, and Mining Policy Division. “Transparency in the extractive industries is vital for achieving poverty reduction, and so we ask countries not to give up on its efforts.”
The EITI process seeks to commit oil, gas, and mining companies to publish the payments they make to governments and to commit governments to publish the revenues they receive from companies in the sector. The two sets of numbers are compared and give societies in the respective countries the opportunity to monitor the prudent use of income from extracting and selling natural resources like oil, gas, gold, copper, and others.
In Berlin, the EITI Board will assess the progress of countries implementing EITI, particularly in reaching the milestone of completing external validation. Compliance establishes that a country's revenue reporting standards in its extractive sector have achieved a greater level of transparency. The EITI Board will also assess each country’s request for extension of the validation deadline on its own merit.
The World Bank Group and donor partners to the multi-donor trust fund (MDTF), managed by the Bank, are also meeting in Berlin on April 13 to assess the progress of the MDTF work program in over 40 countries, some of which are either EITI implementing countries or interested in adopting EITI principles. Through technical assistance, supplemented by donor funding in the form of grants, the World Bank Group over the past few years has supported countries in moving toward validation.
“We are providing technical assistance and funding support to these countries’ transparency reforms as a pathway to development through better management of their natural resources,” said Anwar Ravat, Program Manager of the World Bank’s multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) for EITI implementation in countries around the world.
About the World Bank and multi-donor trust fund (MDTF) partners for EITI implementation
Comprised of 185 member governments, the Word Bank’s primary focus is to help the world’s poorest people and the poorest countries. The World Bank uses its financial resources, its staff, and extensive experience to help developing countries reduce poverty, increase economic growth, and improve their quality of life. 13 donor partners support the EITI technical assistance through the Multi-donor Trust Fund administered by the World Bank: Australia, Belgium, Canada, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, UK, and USA.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. IFC fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC is the only international financial institution focused exclusively on the private sector, the engine of sustainable development in emerging markets. Along with IBRD, it is currently seeking a capital increase to strengthen its ability to create opportunity for the poor in developing countries—including by helping businesses expand and provide jobs.
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.
- 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.
- A total of 32 countries are currently implementing the EITI as compliant or candidate countries. These include: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea (in voluntary suspension), Iraq, 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.