As we approach half-way through 2010, it is proving to be as momentous for the EITI as expected. Although most of the 22 first EITI countries did not complete the validation of their EITI processes by their deadlines, eyes are now turned towards those granted short extensions to complete by September.
Countries’ efforts to meet the deadlines have led to an unprecedented level of activity to improve transparency in the extractives sector. In the past 12 months, 18 countries have produced EITI Reports. In 12 of these countries, citizens are able to see the extractive revenue figures for the first time (page 4).
Never has there been so much activity and determination to improve transparency in the extractive sector in so many countries. In post-conflict countries like Liberia or the Democratic Republic of Congo, the EITI is part of a wider peace and reconciliation process. In volatile states like Niger, Mauritania and Madagascar, the EITI creates a democratic space for citizens to contribute to their country’s development. Azerbaijan publishes reports on its oil income every six months, holding meetings that provide an unprecedented platform for civil society and companies. Following Azerbaijan EITI Compliance status, the international credit rating agency Fitch upgraded Azerbaijan’s sovereign credit ratings (page 6).
I would like to congratulate Timor Leste on achieving EITI Compliance (page 2). In a country that has recently emerged from years of conflict, the EITI is playing a key role in combating the resource curse that is prevalent in so many resource-rich countries. Timor Leste has led by example, and I congratulate the government and the multi-stakeholder group for their efforts.
Large efforts are underway to ensure that the other EITI countries complete EITI validation, as Timor Leste, Mongolia, Ghana and Nigeria have now done. Congratulations to all you who are part of those efforts.
Peter Eigen, Chair of EITI