Key stakeholders in the Democratic Republic of Congo gathered at an international EITI Forum held in Kinshasa 8-9 January, to mark the progress their country has made in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). It looks likely that the EITI Board will find that the DRC now has shown sufficient progress in meeting the necessary requierments to receive status as a EITI Candidate, when the Board holds its meeting in Ghana 22 February." The DRC signed up to the international initiative in 2005, committing to a more transparent management of its natural resources. The government introduced a mechanism to oblige companies to publish what they pay and the government to publish what it receives from revenue in the mining, forest and oil sectors.
The international conference marked the first occasion for close to 200 representatives from the EITI’s three stakeholder groups - the state authorities, civil society and companies – to meet and exchange ideas about ways to advance the EITI in DRC. Participants signed a ‘Declaration of Kinshasa’ to confirm their joined commitment to revenue transparency for the benefit of the Congolese citizens. The conference was organised by the DRC’s national EITI Committee, in collaboration with the international EITI Secretariat.
Peter Eigen, Chairman of the international Board of the EITI, addressed conference participants with his congratulations for progress made in the initiative. He welcomed the recent creation of a multi-stakeholder EITI committee and of a secretariat, and underlined the importance of the recent adoption of a workplan for guiding the implementation of EITI in DRC. “The EITI presents a very real opportunity for your country to ensure that the wealth of natural resources is used to the benefit of the Congolese people”, Peter Eigen told participants. “I encourage the various groups you represent to work together and ensure that advancing the EITI in DRC becomes a joint effort“. Peter Eigen visited the DRC as part of a wider trip to other Central African countries to discuss progress made with the EITI.
UPDATE: A report from the EITI Forum is now available.