I have been a member of the EITI Executive Committee from its creation in 2007 until today. Over the last ten years I have participated regularly in our multi-stakeholder dialogue and have witnessed DRC EITI grow from strength to strength as it has dealt with and overcome a number of tough circumstances. The collective awareness of issues facing the extractive sector in the DRC has risen amongst stakeholders and produced results that all parties can live with, despite the diversity of their interests.
Contract transparency has been an issue we have successfully tackled. In 2011 we took the bold step to disclose all contracts in the extractive sector and in 2015 the DRC took part in the EITI’s pilot on beneficial-ownership reporting. The data released as part of that exercise was entirely new and, even today, is a rare example of extractive sector ownership data being published in the public domain. The DRC received an award for our outstanding work in this area, which has traditionally been one of the least transparent areas in the sector. Publishing this information has brought clarity to who exactly is operating in the sector.
Our efforts in contract and beneficial ownership transparency have been important. That data, combined with payment information in DRC EITI Reports, has provided stakeholders and citizens with critical information to understand who is operating in the sector, under what terms and for what purpose. It has enabled our country to reduce, as far as possible, discrepancies in payments and revenues and ensure that the state receives what it is owed. For a resource-rich country like ours, it gives precise data on the large contribution of the extractive sector to the state budget. As the EITI Standard has evolved, the DRC has adapted its government financial systems to account for the new rules and requirements.
The ultimate goal for us is to track and monitor government revenues to address the expectations of the general public. This is important because the prospects for the mining sector in the DRC are promising, particularly in view of improving metal prices on the international market. The DRC is fortunate to have a broad range of minerals, including those that are most valued at present, and we are designing policies to derive the greatest profits from these resources. My vision of the role that the EITI could play is that of enabling the country to achieve, in an optimal fashion, a transparent, top-to-bottom operational framework so that all payments made by the extractive industries are effectively captured by the public treasury, thereby maximizing the revenues from the mining sector.