Dushanbe, July 12, 2011 – A Seminar organized by the World Bank Group in cooperation with the Open Society Institute (OSI) on the discussion of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), took place in Dushanbe on July 12, 2011. The event was organized in close coordination with the Ministry of Finance and the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management and was formally opened by Mr. Asadullo Gulomov, the First Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan. It has attracted participants from the government of Tajikistan, line ministries and agencies, other countries such as Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, as well as international organizations and local civil society organizations.
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI, is the widely-accepted international framework for strengthening transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. It was launched in 2002, and is currently implemented in 35 countries across the globe. It is unique in terms of bringing together representatives from three different groups - private sector, civil society and Government - to work together, through the verification and full publication of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining.
Adherence to and implementation of EITI is crucial for Tajikistan’s economic and social development. Recent mining reforms and mineral discoveries are likely to significantly expand the extractive sector in Tajikistan. Yet, these resources are not renewable and therefore need to be managed very carefully. In this context, EITI will bring many benefits to Tajikistan: an improved investment climate, a signal to international investors that the government has a clear commitment to transparency and good governance, and strengthened accountability vis-à-vis the people of Tajikistan.
In order to formally be accepted as an “EITI candidate” country, Tajikistan will have to fulfill a number of requirements, including a formal public announcement, a firm commitment to working with the civil society, establishment of a Multistakeholder group, appointment of an “EITI Champion” to pilot the initiative, and publication of a workplan.
EITI practitioners from the region – Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan – participated in the event. All rich in mineral resources, these countries have gained important experience in EITI implementation, including managing a Multistakeholder group, report scope and publication, and validation, and have come to share that experience with their counterparts in Tajikistan. Just last month, a 5-member delegation from Tajikistan traveled to Kyrgyz Republic to attend the Second EITI Global conference and learn from experience of neighboring countries that have been implementing the initiative. This exchange with other countries that are a part of EITI serves an important purpose of helping Tajikistan draw on their lessons.
The seminar covered information on the background of EITI, mining sector development in Tajikistan, EITI implementation experience from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and Mongolia, and the particular roles that each stakeholder in the process (i.e. Government, private sector and civil society) plays in the implementation of the initiative.
The World Bank has strong experience in EITI implementation around the globe. Appointed as administrator of a Multidonor Trust Fund that has nearly US$50 million in contributions from 14 donors, the World Bank currently works in 50 countries worldwide to provide technical assistance to EITI and to support EITI dialogue in countries that are just considering becoming a part of the initiative. The particular role of the World Bank in EITI was covered during the event, which stands ready to support EITI in Tajikistan.