EITI to be a key instrument in Senegal’s extractive reforms

“As part of the EITI process, Senegal will publish all mining contracts," said Senegal's President H.E. Macky Sall.

To enhance the potential of its mining sector, Senegal submitted its official Candidature application for the global standard promoting openness about revenues from natural resources.

Senegal’s Candidature application to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is seen by the government as a key instrument in the country’s reform process to reduce poverty.

Through the EITI the country seeks to better manage its natural resource sector, increase engagement with local populations and step up competitiveness.

The President of Senegal, H.E. Macky Sall, said that by implementing the EITI the government can ensure that it has received all revenues that it should according to contracts between the government and mining companies.

“As part of the EITI process, Senegal will publish all mining contracts, as well as revenue to be derived from these contracts.”

The country produces gold, iron ore and phosphates. The mining industry accounts for approximately 20% of export earnings and 20% of GDP in Senegal.

The CEO of the mining company Randgold, Mark Bristow, recently said to Business Day live that Senegal is its “most highly rated destination” for finding viable new gold mines, based on an analysis of geological opportunity, political stability and fiscal competitiveness.

Senegal is said also to have a prospective oil reserve of roughly 3.5 billion barrels and at least 13 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Challenges ahead

The mining sector in Senegal faces challenges such as capacity constraints, poor infrastructure, complex administrative procedures, and difficult relations with affected communities. High rates of illiteracy prevent many local citizens from working for mining companies seeking to employ technical personnel.

The Board of the EITI will carefully consider Senegal’s application and is expected to decide if Senegal will be accepted as a Candidate at its meeting in October of this year.