US lawmakers continue to demonstrate their support for the EITI. On 13 June the New York Times published a letter from Senator Richard Lugar (R-Indiana) in response to an earlier article entitled, Battle to Halt Graft Scourge in Africa Ebbs. In his letter Senator Lugar highlights the EITI as one of the few promising developments in the fight against corruption in Africa, writing “While it is indeed discouraging that the fight against corruption is faltering in much of Africa, there is at least one bright spot: the Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative, begun in 2003 to promote responsible and honest management of oil and mineral revenues, which are too often a source of corruption. Given the natural resource wealth of the continent, it is encouraging that 21 of the 29 EITI candidate countries are African”. For the full text of the letter click here.
On a similar note, during an Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Conference in Ireland earlier this month Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Florida) reiterated his support of the EITI and encouraged the Obama Administration to play a responsible role in promoting the initiative. In his speech Congressman Hastings stated, "I strongly believe that the best thing we [US] can do to help boost EITI is to follow the lead of other OSCE member States such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Norway and become a Candidate Country with the goal of becoming fully compliant with EITI standards." For the full text of Congressman Hastings' speech please click here. For Congressman Hastings' speech in Congress about the OSCE Conference, please click here.