October 3, 2012 - The 4th National Conference on the implementation of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Kazakhstan took place in Astana as part of the 7th Eurasian KAZENERGY Forum. The Initiative is a global governance standard that promotes revenue transparency in oil, gas and mining industries.
"For Kazakhstan, the participation in EITI is important in order to create a more transparent, accountable and responsible economy management, and therefore to meet strategic objectives of the country,” said Mr. Nurlan Sauranbayev, Vice Minister of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, passing the address of Deputy Prime-Minister and Chairman of the National Stakeholder Council Mr. Kelimbetov. “In future, EITI could include a wide range of issues of public participation in the distribution of social and environmental fees of extractive companies to the dissemination of EITI reporting on non-extractive industries."
The full support of the EITI by the government of Kazakhstan was first declared by the President Nursultan Nazarbayev on June 14, 2005. Soon after, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the extractive sector companies, NGOs and Majilis members of the Parliament, followed by the establishment of the National Stakeholder Council (NSC).
Since 2006, with funding from the World Bank-administered Multi-Donor Trust Fund and the Joint Economic Research Program, the World Bank has been providing technical assistance to the Government of Kazakhstan and the National Stakeholders Council. “The initiative was grounded in a shared belief that transparency in the financial management of revenues from natural resources would help resource rich countries in their efforts to ensure that this wealth did not just lead to temporary increases in income levels but accelerated the entire development process," said Sebnem Akkaya, World Bank Country Manager for Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan formally became an EITI candidate country in 2007. Making quick progress, the country received a special prize at the 4th Global EITI conference in February 2009 in Doha for its efforts to raise awareness of the EITI across the country through a number of workshops and general information sharing in the various regions.
Kazakhstan went through the EITI validation process in November 2009. Although the 2009 country report included 136 companies, the most by far of all 35 EITI reporting countries, Kazakhstan did not reach full validation requirements. Its candidate status was extended and the country will undergo another validation by August 2013. For the 2010 and 2011 reports, 195 companies of oil and mining will be included.
The conference attended by representatives of local and international NGOs, government agencies and extractive companies considered expanding the framework of the EITI issues in the country. Civil society organizations presented their vision of further development of the EITI in Kazakhstan.
The conference participants were also informed of the planned launch of the EITI Kazakhstan website by the end of October 2012, as well as of the planned launch of the program to increase civil society engagement in EITI through national and regional capacity building and innovative communication strategy.