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Afghanistan temporarily suspended for slow progress

Afghanistan temporarily suspended for slow progress

EITI Board commends country’s recent increased efforts to improve transparency

While recognising the particularly challenging circumstances in which Afghanistan is implementing the EITI, the EITI Board has concluded that Afghanistan has made “inadequate progress” overall in implementing the EITI Standard. In accordance with the Standard, the country is temporarily suspended until it demonstrates meaningful progress in a new Validation assessment. The full Board decision is available here.

“Suspension is temporary mechanism,” said EITI chair Fredrik Reinfeldt. “Afghanistan is still an EITI implementing country and we look forward to working with the government, industry and civil society organisations to build on the recent momentum in improving transparency. The Board decision includes a clear set of corrective actions to guide this work.”  

The EITI Board commended Afghanistan’s efforts to improve transparency following its first Validation under the EITI Standard in 2017 and welcomed the government’s commitment to reinvigorate the implementation of the EITI.

“This Validation focussed on EITI implementation in Afghanistan prior to November 2017,” said Reinfeldt. “Since then, especially in recent months, the government has reaffirmed its commitment to the EITI and made some important progress regarding license transparency. The EITI Board welcomes this advancement and urges EITI supporting countries and organisations to maintain their support to Afghanistan to improve domestic resource mobilisation, deepen reforms, build trust and fight corruption, which are key to sustainable growth and prosperity.”   

Afghanistan joined the EITI in 2010. The country is rich in natural mineral resources, which include vast reserves of copper, iron-ore, rare-earth metals, gold, gemstones and marble. Deposits have been estimated to be worth over USD 1 trillion. The country’s energy resources consist of natural gas and petroleum. The realisation of Afghanistan’s substantial extractives potential could generate significant revenues for the government, improving economic development and reducing the country’s heavy dependence on aid.

Afghanistan’s central government is hampered in its ability to manage and enforce revenue collection from the extractives sector and production is constrained by the precarious security situation. Despite these challenges, Afghanistan has made progress in implementing the EITI and has notably been using the data as a diagnostics tool for its cadastre system, a way to strengthen the government’s revenue collection and to identify challenges and propose reforms to public auditing practices.

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