Mauritania continues to strengthen extractive industry governance

First Validation under the EITI Standard concludes meaningful progress, but more is needed.

Wednesday 8 March 2017 - The international EITI Board today recognised Mauritania’s efforts to improve natural resource governance through the EITI Standard. The Board concluded that the country had made meaningful progress against the Standard.

Validation is the EITI’s independent evaluation mechanism.

Mauritania is one of the first countries in francophone Africa to implement the EITI and has helped shape the EITI Standard globally. Over a decade of implementation, Mauritania’s EITI has established itself as the country’s key instrument to support reforms in fiscal transparency and governance of the extractive industries.

Thanks to these efforts, the EITI has led to the first audit of the country’s sovereign petroleum fund, publication of state-owned enterprises’ backlog of audited financial statements and greater traceability of oil and gas payments with the introduction of receipts. Mauritania EITI has managed to spread information on the sector and has revealed a strong demand for more. Mauritania presents an exceptionally challenging landscape for communications, with a large share (40% in 2015) of the country’s nomadic-tradition population rural and roughly half of the population non-literate.   

The EITI Board agreed that Mauritania had made meaningful progress implementing the EITI Standard and highlighted efforts to go beyond the basic requirements in areas including in the timeliness of its reporting and disclosures related in-kind revenues. The EITI Board also decided on a set of corrective actions that Mauritania will need to address to make a full transition to the EITI Standard. The full Board decision is available here [LINK forthcoming].

Chair of the EITI, Fredrik Reinfeldt, said:

“Mauritania has repeatedly demonstrated its use of the EITI to achieve important, tangible reforms in government. Swiftly addressing the corrective actions should help Mauritania meet the demands for information of its citizens ahead of its significant natural gas resources coming on-stream.”

Room for improvement

The Government of Mauritania has taken steps to address all the requirements of the EITI Standard, but there is still room for improvement. Further work is needed in including data quality assurance and improving the comprehensiveness of reporting by both government and industry as well as state-owned enterprises. In addition, the EITI Board raised questions as to whether the industry and civil society constituencies were sufficiently engaged in EITI implementation, highlighting gaps in effective oversight by the multi-stakeholder group.

Next steps

Mauritania has been compliant with the EITI Rules, the Standard’s predecessor, since February 2012. The Validation against the Standard commenced in July 2016 and comes to a close with today’s decision. Mauritania now has until 8 September 2018 to implement corrective actions addressing the EITI Board’s concerns, when a second Validation is scheduled to commence.

Scorecard

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Notes

For further information about the EITI Mauritania, please visit the country page on the EITI website and Mauritania’s own EITI website [currently down].