Day 3 of Francophone African EITI week in Abidjan.
When asked about the objectives of Validation, the quality assurance mechanism of the EITI, participants had a variety of responses. These included recognising efforts, assessing the impact of implementation, certifying compliance, respecting the requirements, ensuring the integrity of the EITI, confirmation, consensus and evaluation.
New Validation procedures were adopted by the EITI Board at the Global Conference in Lima in February 2016. Today's session provided an opportunity for participants to better understand the new procedures and share experiences in the preparation for Validation. Three francophone EITI countries, namely Mali, Mauritania and Niger were scheduled to begin the process this year.
In the afternoon, trips to Côte d’Ivoire’s state-owned oil company PETROCI and state-owned mining company SODEMI gave participants the opportunity to see how Côte d’Ivoire is tackling certain issues around state-owned enterprises (SOEs).
The General Director of PETROCI, Dr. Ibrahim a Diaby, warmly welcomed his counterparts from the 14 African francophone EITI implementing countries. PETROCI participates in the Ivorian EITI multi-stakeholder group and has declared its financial payments to the government within this framework. Questions ranged from the technical accounting of recovery, to the cross-national issue of dealing with shared oil fields across borders and how Cote d’Ivoire has dealt with lower oil prices. Participants were particularly interested in the progress made by PETROCI's Centre for Analysis and Research, which boasts of a state of the art laboratory in sedimentary, geochemical and stratigraphic research.
At SODEMI, participants were greeted by the President Yacouba Bamba, General Director Kadjo Kouame, as well as six members from senior staff, from finances to communications. Mr. Kouame underscored SODEMI’s commitment to contributing to transparency in the framework of the EITI. “The EITI is like a passport” he said. “It signals to our business and development partners that everything that enters and leaves SODEMI is recorded. It acts as guarantee and deterrent.” A lively discussion ensued around the role of SODEMI in the development of the mining sector, in the participation in production activities, governance of MSG and exchange of examples of the countries present.
Some participants had the opportunity to visit the African Legal Support Facility. Housed in the African Development Bank, the Facility’s mission is to “achieve sustainable legal capacity for Africa”. The team wanted to make sure that participants knew that the Facility was there to support them. “Publishing contracts” was again discussed.
The day closed in a restaurant outside of the hotel, with music and lots of dance. After the hard work, some fun!