Earlier this week, the EITI Board considered the situation in the Central African Republic, and a recommendation from the Implementation Committee of the Board for lifting the country’s suspension.
The decision recognised the challenging political and operational environment in the country, and the role that continuation of the EITI process could play in mitigating the risks of corruption and mineral smuggling. The situation in the Central African Republic and the surrounding region remains extremely fragile. In this context, the abuse of resource wealth has the potential to undermine peace and stability further.
The conditions for lifting the suspension allow national and global stakeholders to monitor progress on the implementation of the EITI Standard and assess the level of continuous progress through Validation.
The adapted implementation request also defines clear parameters, timeframes, and processes for gradual implementation of the EITI Standard. EITI implementation will first be limited to areas approved as compliant by the Kimberley process to export diamonds. The first EITI Report is due in 31 December 2022. The Government should take immediate steps to implement key provisions of the EITI Standard, such as transparency in licensing and contracts, and ensure adherence to the civil society protocol.
Furthermore, the Board will continue to monitor the situation closely and consult stakeholders and partners in country to ensure that the EITI Principles and requirements are respected. The situation will be re-assessed following completion of the Validation expected to start on 1 April 2024.
I hope that with this decision, the EITI Board has provided a pathway for re-integration of the Central African Republic into the EITI, and a means of countering the negative impact of continuing instability on that country’s citizens and means of development.