The Central African Republic (CAR) has confirmed its determination to complete EITI Validation by November 2010, and tackle the challenges of managing an entirely informal mining sector. In bilateral meetings with the EITI International Secretariat, the President of the Republic François Bozizé, the Prime Minister Faustin-Archange Touadéra, and the Minister of State and Mines Sylvain Ndoutingaï, all reiterated their full commitment to the EITI. They underlined that this process had become a key government measure to more effectively manage revenues from gold, diamond and uranium production for the development of their country. Civil society members welcomed the unprecedented dialogue with Government and mining operators about transparency issues, but pointed at the need to build their capacity.
During their joint mission to CAR 29 October to 5 November, the EITI International Secretariat and the World Bank met with EITI stakeholders both at the national and local levels to discuss the progress of the EITI in CAR, and provide training on EITI implementation and validation (alongside the EITI Technical Secretariat in CAR, the World Bank, and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ)). The Secretariat mission also spent two days in the mining region around Boda, meeting with local authorities, artisanal miners, representatives of buying houses and workers in the informal open-pit mines.
The integration of Central African CSOs into the international Publish What You Pay (PWYP) coalition is a positive new development. The EITI Technical Secretariat is also in the process of establishing multistakeholder subcommittees in all 16 Prefectures to ensure national communications about the EITI. In meetings, mining operators considered the EITI a useful tool for securing their investments, better understanding of their fiscal obligations, and a means for gaining the confidence of mining communities. Areva is currently the only formal operator in CAR, but is still in the exploration phase for uranium.
For further information about EITI implementation in the Central African Republic, contact Regional Director Tim Bittiger at the EITI Secretariat.