The first day of the EITI conference got off to a busy start with nearly 400 participants in attendance. During the 7th EITI International Board meeting held, the Board discussed whether to accept Azerbaijan as the first EITI Compliant country and the approval of Tanzania as a Candidate country.
The EITI Board agreed to admit Tanzania as an EITI Candidate country. Tanzania has developed a work plan to implement the initiative and is in the process of establishing a Multi-Stakeholder Group to oversee the process. More details on Tanzania's new status will be available following the conference, as the EITI's most recent implementing country begins working toward compliance.
The EITI Board also designated Azerbaijan as EITI Compliant. Azerbaijan has instituted a regular process of disclosing, reconciling and publishing company payments and government receipts. Azerbaijan is the first country to complete validation. Validation is the EITI's quality assurance process which verifies compliance with EITI principles and criteria. The Board congratulated the government of Azerbaijan for its commitment and leadership and commended all stakeholders for their collaborative and constructive approach to EITI implementation. The promotion of Azerbaijan from Candidate to Compliant country status marks an important milestone for the EITI. The Board also encouraged other Candidate countries to continue their work towards completing validation ahead of the agreed deadlines.
With the recent joining of Norway as the first European Candidate Country last week, the EITI now has a total of 26 implementing countries: 25 Candidate countries and Azerbaijan as the first EITI Compliant country.