Highlights from the Paris conference: Day 2

The theme of the second day of the Conference was the future of the EITI and revenue transparency. Presidents Kikwete (Tanzania) and Guebuza (Mozambique) opened the day by reflecting on the importance that revenue transparency in improving the governance of their extractive sectors. President Kikwete noted how the EITI is facilitating discussions about his country’s mining sector and its contribution to the economy. President Guebuza pledged his strong commitment to deepen Mozambique's EITI process following the publication of the tax payments and receipts in the country's first EITI report.

US Under Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Agricultural Affairs, Robert Hormats, stressed the importance of the EITI in helping to improve the investment climate in the extractives sector. Standard Life Investments CEO, Keith Skeoch, noted that institutional investors are not only supporting the EITI because it is the right thing to do, but because it makes business and commercial sense. Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Nobuo Tanaka, made clear that improved transparency in the energy sector has a direct link to providing investors with the necessary confidence to invest in much-needed long-term energy infrastructure. Many speakers throughout the day emphasised the need to allow the free and fair participation of civil society groups in the EITI and other governance processes.

At the EITI Stakeholder Forum, representatives from almost 30 organisations addressed the conference. See the full list of speakers and, where available, their speeches at eitiparis.org/programme. A highlight of the conference was the national exhibition with stands for all of the EITI implementing countries. All of the 35 countries displayed their EITI materials – posters, reports, videos, brochures, flags, t-shirts, etc., which gave a strong flavour of their process. Members of their national secretariats were available to answer questions.

New EITI Chair, Clare Short, French Minister of Cooperation, Henri Raincourt, and African Development Bank President, Donald Kaberuka, closed the Conference by recalling why the EITI exists: citizens are the rightful owners of natural resources in their country. The citizens need to be connected better with the debate about the use of revenue from those resources. They celebrated how the EITI has begun to show how, as the title of the conference states, transparency counts. Clare thanked participants for their energy, passion and support, but challenged them to double their efforts to have more reports, better reports, facilitate that they are better communicated and discussed within countries so that the resources can be used to improve the well-being of all their citizens.