Liberia Holds EITI Launch Workshop

Liberia celebrated the launch of its Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Liberia (LEITI) at Monrovia City Hall on July 10th. The event was presided over by Liberia’s President, her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, who formally launched the LEITI. Statements were also made by several Cabinet Ministers, other government representatives, civil society, the private sector, and international development partners including the African Development Bank.

LEITI will work to ensure that the natural resources of Liberia – mines, forests, and potentially oil – are used in the interests of the Liberian people, rather than to enrich private individuals. This will be done via the publication of all payments made by mining, petroleum, and forestry companies to the government and government personnel. Payment and revenue information will be reconciled by an independent administrator, and will undergo external audits.

Chairman of EITI’s International Board, Dr. Peter Eigen highlighted the significance of this process in a letter to Her Excellency Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf earlier this week. "The launch of the LEITI", he wrote, "shows your Government's commitment to good governance and transparency practices. It demonstrates a willingness to working together with civil society." It is by collaborating with civil society that LEITI hopes to ensure that all Liberians are able to benefit from the generous bounty of Liberia’s lands, mines, and forests.

LEITI will be overseen by a Steering Committee composed of members of the government, civil society, the private sector, and international development partners.

Click here to for the full speeches of President Sirleaf and Finance Minister Antoinette Sayeh.

Click here for the news article from New Democrat News, July 11, 2007 regarding the launch workshop.