Key conference facts
10 technical sessions
The Opening up Ownership Africa conference was the largest gathering of beneficial ownership transparency practitioners yet.
Conference co-host and keynote speaker, President of Senegal, HE Macky Sall started by highlighting action on past commitments:
"In order to comply with [the beneficial ownership] Requirement in the EITI Standard, Senegal has adopted a definition of beneficial ownership on … 23 February 2018.
Senegal had already committed to set up a publicly available register to identify the beneficial owners of companies at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London in May 2016.
We have now identified the Trade and Personal Property Credit Register, under the authority of the Ministry of Justice, as the institution where information on the identity of the beneficial owners of oil, gas and mining companies will be collected.
The Ministry of Justice [will] oversee the disclosure of beneficial ownership in terms of data collection, access to information, the disclosure of politically exposed persons, and so on.
All this demonstrates the commitment of the Government of Senegal to pursue implementation of the EITI and its focus on the disclosure of beneficial owners."
His fellow President from nearby Sierra Leone, HE Julius Maada Bio started by restating his government’s commitment to beneficial ownership:
"My government is fast-tracking legal and regulatory initiatives to ensure that beneficial ownership is codified into our mining laws.
The Sierra Leone Minerals Policy that is in the final stages of review includes provisions to ensure that companies that own licenses, bid for licenses, or operate licenses in the extractive industries declare their beneficial owners and interests.
We are also reviewing the Corporate Affairs Governance Code and developing a more detailed activity and monitoring plan."
In addition, representatives leading beneficial ownership reforms in EITI countries shared the progress made so far.
Garba Abubakar, Special Adviser to the Registrar-General in Nigeria explained how the Corporate Affairs Commission is planning to establish a public ownership register in open data format before the 2020 deadline. A bill establishing the register by law is currently being reviewed by parliament.
Prince Benjamin Aboagye, Acting Deputy CEO of Ghana’s Petroleum Commission told participants how the petroleum regulation stipulates that all bidders for Ghana’s first petroleum bidding round will be requested to disclose their beneficial owners.