Albania, Burkina Faso, Mozambique and Zambia have now become EITI Candidate countries. This was announced by the EITI Board at its meeting in Washington DC. With these four new countries, 30 countries are now implementing the EITI, further bolstering EITI as the standard for transparent management of revenues from the oil, gas and mining sectors.
This week a series of EITI related meetings also have been held at World Bank headquarters, including a meeting on improving EITI reporting, on sub-national implementation of the EITI process, and on engagement with civil society.
An important theme at the National Coordinator meeting was planning for EITI Validation, the mechanism for external Quality Assurance of EITI implementation in the country. Twenty-one of the EITI Candidate countries are facing a deadline in March 2010 to complete EITI Validation. The need for support of countries’ efforts to go through the Validation process was reiterated by the EITI Board Chairman, Dr Peter Eigen, who said:
By committing to the EITI and undergoing an independent EITI Validation, governments and companies demonstrate their commitment to openness, transparency and good governance. It is impressive to see all the efforts in EITI implementing countries to prepare for Validation and meet the EITI standard. The international community recognizes such efforts and supports these governments and their stakeholders in their implementation of the EITI.
Since it was put forward in 2002 the EITI has moved towards becoming the global standard for revenue transparency in the extractive industries. Through implementing the EITI, countries bring together companies, civil society and government representatives to monitor and account for payments being made to governments by extractives companies operating in their country. Countries that have met all of the reporting and operational indicators set out under the EITI guidelines and completed a rigorous validation process are then considered to be EITI Compliant, establishing that a country's revenue reporting standards in its extractive sector have achieved a greater level of transparency.