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Malawi has achieved a moderate overall score in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard

Outcome of the Validation of Malawi

Decision reference
2022-46 / BM-54
Decision basis
EITI Articles of Association 2019-2021, Article 12.1. ix)
12 October 2022

Board decision

Malawi has achieved a moderate overall score in implementing the 2019 EITI Standard (80 points). The overall score reflects an average of the three component scores on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact.

The EITI Board commends Malawi for achieving a moderate score on Outcomes and impact (84 points). Malawi continued using EITI implementation to further extractive industry accountability, including through a comprehensive work plan that aligns with national priorities, including supporting the country’s anti-corruption efforts. Malawi EITI has also strengthened dissemination and outreach activities despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board acknowledges Malawi EITI’s (MWEITI) efforts to expand the scope of EITI reporting to the forestry sector, an important sector of the economy that is of significant public interest. The Board also welcomes Malawi’s use of flexible EITI reporting to analyse the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the extractive industries. The Board encourages Malawi to develop a more robust mechanism for monitoring outcomes and impact of the EITI and to further strengthen outreach and dissemination activities. Malawi was awarded one additional point for the effectiveness and sustainability of EITI implementation.

On Transparency, Malawi also reached a moderate score (70 points). Malawi has used its EITI reporting to strengthen transparency of the mining, petroleum, transportation and forestry sectors. Malawi’s recent EITI reporting provides more detailed information on license and contract allocations, distribution of revenues as well as social and environmental expenditures. However, there is scope for further improvements on disclosing data on extractive licensing activities, including transfers and non-trivial deviations from statutory procedures, transparency in the full texts of licenses and contracts, and beneficial ownership disclosure. In the context of systematic disclosures, the Board challenges Malawi to further its efforts related to routine and timely extractive industry disclosures through government and company systems. There is scope for Malawi to use its EITI implementation as a diagnostic tool of government and companies’ audit assurance practices and to strengthen project-level reporting to support improvements in domestic resource mobilisation. There is an opportunity for MWEITI to develop alternative approaches to EITI reporting built on an assessment of systems and risks specific to the country’s extractive sector and governance challenges.

Malawi achieved a high component score on Stakeholder engagement (86 points). The Board welcomes the continued government and civil society engagement since the previous Validation, which has enabled a balanced multi-stakeholder oversight of the EITI process. While there have been considerable improvements in industry engagement in the EITI, including new representation from the oil and gas sector, there is potential for further strengthening company reporting of EITI data and industry’s role in coordinating the broader constituency of extractive companies.

The Board has determined that Malawi will have until a next Validation commencing on 1 January 2025 to carry out corrective actions regarding Industry engagement (Requirement 1.2), Contract and license allocations (Requirement 2.2), Contracts (Requirement 2.4), Beneficial ownership (Requirement 2.5), Comprehensiveness (Requirement 4.1), Disaggregation (Requirement 4.7), Data quality (Requirement 4.9), Distribution of revenues (Requirement 5.1), Social and environmental expenditures (Requirement 6.1), Data accessibility and open data (Requirement 7.2), and Outcomes and impact (Requirement 7.4). Failure to demonstrate progress on Outcomes and impact, Stakeholder engagement or Transparency in the next Validation may result in temporary suspension in accordance with Article 6 of the EITI Standard. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Malawi’s MSG may request an extension of this timeframe or request that Validation commences earlier than scheduled.

Corrective actions and strategic recommendations

The EITI Board agreed the following corrective actions to be undertaken by Malawi. Progress in addressing these corrective actions will be assessed in the next Validation commencing on 1 January 2025:

  1. In accordance with Requirement 7.2, Malawi is required to make EITI data available in an open data format online and publicise its availability. To strengthen implementation, Malawi EITI is encouraged to make systematically disclosed data machine-readable and inter-operable, easily accessed and comparable with other publicly available data.
  2. In accordance with Requirement 7.4, Malawi EITI is required to document its annual review of impact and outcomes of EITI implementation in an annual progress report or through other means agreed by the MSG. This should include any actions undertaken to address issues that the MSG has identified as priorities for EITI implementation. The annual review of impact and outcomes must include a narrative account of efforts to strengthen the impact of EITI implementation on natural resource governance, including any actions to extend the detail and scope of EITI reporting or to increase engagement with stakeholders. To strengthen implementation, Malawi EITI is encouraged to document how it has taken gender considerations and inclusiveness into account. All stakeholders should be able to participate in reviewing the impact of EITI implementation.
  3. In accordance with Requirement 1.2, Malawi must ensure that companies are fully, actively and effectively engaged in all aspects of the EITI process, including by ensuring regular consultations and coordination with the broader constituency of extractive companies operating in Malawi, consistent provision of data for EITI reporting and active participation in EITI outreach and dissemination activities.
  4. In accordance with Requirement 6.3, Malawi should ensure that information about the extractive industries’ contribution to total government revenues and total employment is provided in absolute and relative terms. To strengthen implementation, the MSG may wish to consider ways of improving systematic disclosures related to the contribution of the extractive sector to the economy and is encouraged to disclose credible estimates of the contribution of informal extractive activities to the economy as well as extractive industry employment data disaggregated by gender, company and occupation.
  5. In accordance with Requirement 2.4, Malawi is required to disclose any contracts and licenses that are granted, entered into or amended from 1 January 2021. Malawi is encouraged to publicly disclose any contracts and licenses that provide the terms attached to the exploitation of oil, gas and minerals. It is a requirement to publicly document the government’s policy on disclosure of contracts and licenses that govern the exploration and exploitation of oil, gas and minerals. This should include a description of whether legislation or government policy addresses the issue of disclosure of both contracts and licenses, including whether it requires or prohibits disclosure of contracts and licenses. This should also include an overview of which contracts and licenses are publicly available. Malawi should publish a list of all active contracts and licenses, indicating which are publicly available and which are not. Where disclosure practice deviates from legislative or government policy requirements concerning the disclosure of contracts and licenses, an explanation for the deviation should be published.
  6. In accordance with Requirement 2.2, Malawi should ensure that a description of the statutory procedure for transferring extractive licenses is publicly disclosed, including the technical and financial criteria assessed. Malawi should ensure that any material deviations from the applicable legal and regulatory framework governing license transfers and awards are publicly described for all mining, oil and gas license awards and transfers in the period under review by EITI reporting. Malawi EITI may wish to include additional information on the allocation of licenses as part of the EITI disclosures.
  7. In accordance with Requirement 2.5, Malawi is required to disclose the beneficial owners of all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses. To ensure public disclosure of this information going forward, Malawi should ensure there is a legal and regulatory framework in place to collect and publicly disclose beneficial ownership information on all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses. Malawi should require all companies holding or applying for oil, gas and mining licenses and contracts to disclose both their legal and beneficial owners. An assessment of the comprehensiveness and reliability of this information should be undertaken by the MSG. Malawi should ensure the public disclosure, for wholly-owned subsidiaries of publicly listed companies, of the name of the relevant stock exchange and a link to the stock exchange filings where they are listed.
  8. In accordance with Requirement 4.1, Malawi should ensure public disclosures of all material payments by oil, gas and mining companies to governments and all material revenues received by governments from oil, gas and mining companies (“revenues”) to a wide audience in a publicly accessible, comprehensive and comprehensible manner. Unless there are significant practical barriers, the government is required to provide aggregate information about the amount of total revenues received from each of the benefit streams agreed in the scope of EITI implementation, including revenues that fall below agreed materiality thresholds. Where this data is not available, Malawi EITI should draw on any relevant data and estimates from other sources in order to provide a comprehensive account of the total government revenues. All oil, gas and mining companies making material payments to the government are required to comprehensively disclose these payments in accordance with the agreed scope. A company should only be exempted from disclosure if it can be demonstrated that its payments are not material. To strengthen implementation, Malawi may wish to consider ways of institutionalising the EITI through legislative reforms to provide a robust basis for ensuring the comprehensive disclosure of all material extractive company payments to government. Companies are expected to publicly disclose their audited financial statements or the main items (i.e., balance sheet, profit/loss statement, cash flows) where financial statements are not available.
  9. In accordance with Requirement 4.7, Malawi should ensure that financial data disclosed through the EITI is disaggregated by project, where such government revenues are levied at a project level in practice, particularly if legal tax ring-fencing provisions have yet to be implemented. If multiple agreements are substantially interconnected, Malawi must clearly identify and document which instances are considered a single project. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to use its EITI reporting as a diagnostic of government reforms to implement tax ring-fencing provisions of the mining fiscal regime in the 2016 Taxation Act.
  10. In accordance with Requirement 4.9, Malawi should ensure that an assessment is publicly disclosed of whether the payments and revenues disclosed through annual EITI reporting are subject to credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards. The expectation is that government and company disclosures as per Requirement 4 are subject to credible, independent audit, applying international auditing standards. The expectation is that disclosures as per Requirement 4 will include an explanation of the underlying audit and assurance procedures that the data has been subject to, with public access to the supporting documentation and recommendations for strengthening underlying government and company audit and assurance procedures and practices. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to use its annual EITI reporting to make recommendations for strengthening government and company audit and assurance practices, and their financial disclosures.
  11. In accordance with Requirement 5.1, Malawi should indicate which extractive industry revenues, whether cash or in-kind, are recorded in the national budget. Where revenues are not recorded in the national budget, the allocation of these revenues must be explained, with links provided to relevant financial reports as applicable, e.g., Petroleum Training Fund.
  12. In accordance with Requirement 6.1.a, Malawi should ensure comprehensive public disclosure of material social expenditures by companies that are mandated by law or the contract with the government that governs the extractive investment, with the detailed information mandated by Requirement 6.1.a for all such disclosures. Given the public interest in the social impacts of extractive projects in Malawi, such disclosures on social expenditures would help build trust around the implementation of the Minerals and Mines Act and strengthen public oversight of the implementation of Community Development Agreements. In accordance with Requirement 6.1.b, Malawi should ensure comprehensive public disclosure of any extractive companies’ material payments to government related to the environment collected by agencies other than the Ministry of Finance, the Malawi Revenue Authority and the Department of Mines. Where all three constituencies in Malawi EITI agree that discretionary social and environmental expenditures and transfers are material, the MSG is encouraged to develop a reporting process with a view to achieving transparency commensurate with the disclosure of other payments and revenues. Malawi EITI is encouraged to agree on a procedure to address data quality and assurance of this information in accordance with Requirement 4.9.

Malawi is encouraged to consider the following recommendations to strengthen EITI implementation:

Outcomes and impact

  1. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to strengthen its mechanisms for ensuring participation of the broader government, industry and civil society constituencies in the development of the annual EITI work plan and to document such efforts.
  2. To strengthen implementation, Malawi may wish to consider access challenges and different information needs of different sectors as well as stakeholder groups in the design and implementation of its EITI-related communications, outreach and dissemination activities.
  3. To strengthen implementation, Malawi may wish to improve its mechanisms for following up on recommendations from EITI reporting and Validation and to document these, to strengthen the accountability of Malawi EITI’s efforts to promote reforms in extractive industry governance.

Stakeholder engagement

  1. To strengthen implementation, the government is encouraged to use the EITI as a platform to drive reforms in extractive industry governance, including in leading on the follow-up on EITI recommendations related to reforms of government systems.
  2. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to ensure that there continues to be an enabling environment for civil society participation with regard to relevant laws, regulations, and administrative rules as well as actual practice in implementation of the EITI. The MSG is encouraged to regularly monitor and discuss any legal, regulatory, administrative or practical reform that may place constraints on civil society’s participation in the EITI process.
  3. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to ensure that all constituencies on the MSG adopt and publish clear procedures for the nomination and replacement of their MSG representatives. All representatives on the MSG, particularly from the government and industry constituencies, are encouraged to strengthen the mechanisms for the regular consultations of their broader respective constituencies, including to canvass their input to the work plan and the annual review of outcomes and impact.

Transparency

  1. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to strengthen government and companies’ systematic disclosures that provide an overview of the extractive industries, including significant ongoing or recent exploration activities.
  2. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to expand the level of systematic disclosures on government and company portals describing the legal framework and fiscal regime governing the extractive industries in the country, including any ongoing or planned reforms.
  3. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to consider disclosing relevant information on the management and monitoring of the environmental impact of the extractive industries. The MSG may wish to discuss the opportunity to systematically disclose environmental impact assessments (EIAs).
  4. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to upgrade its publicly available online cadastre system with comprehensive information regarding all active mining, oil and gas licenses, including dates of application.
  5. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to consider as part of its annual EITI reporting whether state participation in the extractive industries gives rise to material revenue payments, to account for any changes in state participation in future. Where state participation is assessed as giving rise to material government revenues, Malawi would be required to ensure that all aspects of Requirement 2.6 are comprehensively addressed.
  6. To strengthen implementation, Malawi may wish to ensure that extractive commodity production data is publicly disclosed disaggregated by region, company and project, and includes sources and the methods for calculating production volumes and values. Malawi is encouraged to strengthen systematic disclosures of extractive commodity production data by government and companies.
  7. To strengthen implementation, Malawi may wish to ensure that extractive commodity export data is publicly disclosed disaggregated by region, company and project, and includes sources and the methods for calculating export volumes and values. Malawi is encouraged to strengthen systematic disclosures of extractive commodity export data by government and companies.
  8. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to consider, on an annual basis, whether there are any agreements, or sets of agreements involving the provision of goods and services (including loans, grants and infrastructure works), in full or partial exchange for oil, gas or mining exploration or production concessions or physical delivery of such commodities. To achieve this, Malawi EITI needs to gain a full understanding of the terms of the relevant agreements and contracts, the parties involved, the resources pledged by the state, the value of the balancing benefit stream (e.g., infrastructure works), and the materiality of these agreements relative to conventional contracts. Where Malawi EITI concludes that these agreements are material, it is required to ensure that EITI implementation addresses these agreements and disclosures provide a level of detail and disaggregation commensurate with the other payments and revenue streams, in accordance with Requirement 4.3.
  9. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to consider whether revenues from the transportation of oil, gas and minerals collected by the government or material state-owned enterprises are material. Where material, such transportation revenues received are expected to be disclosed in accordance with Requirement 4.4.
  10. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to explore ways, including by enhancing systematic disclosures of financial EITI data by government and companies, to further improve the timeliness of EITI disclosures to meet public demand for government revenue data that can help inform public debate and policymaking.
  11. To strengthen implementation, Malawi is encouraged to use its EITI reporting as a means of ensuring timely government disclosures that would further public understanding and debate around issues of revenue sustainability and resource dependence, including the assumptions underpinning forthcoming years in the budget cycle and relating to projected production, commodity prices and revenue forecasts arising from the extractive industries and the proportion of future fiscal revenues expected to come from the extractive sector.

The government and the MSG are encouraged to consider these recommendations, and to document the MSG’s responses to these recommendations in the next annual review of outcomes and impact of EITI implementation.

Background

In February 2019, the Board agreed that Malawi had made “meaningful progress” in implementing the 2016 EITI Standard. The next Validation of Malawi was scheduled to commence on 27 August 2020. In October 2019, the Board concluded that Malawi was not eligible for an extension request for the EITI Report and is suspended. In December 2019, the Board agreed to lift Malawi’s suspension. In July 2020, the Board agreed that Malawi was eligible for an extension of the reporting deadline and the commencement of Validation. In July 2021, the Board agreed that Malawi was eligible for an extension of the reporting and Validation deadlines. The Validation commenced on 1 January 2022.

Malawi EITI collated documentation for Validation using the Board-agreed data collection templates on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact. The files are available on the Malawi EITI website. The International Secretariat’s Validation team prepared an initial assessment following the Validation procedure and Validation Guide. In accordance with the Validation procedure, a public call for stakeholder views on EITI implementation was open from 15 November 2021 to 1 January 2022. Virtual stakeholder consultations were undertaken from 2 to 18 February 2022. The draft assessment was shared with the MSG for feedback on 10 May 2022. Following on a request for the period for comments on the draft Validation report on 6 June 2022, MSG comments were received on 27 June 2022, after which the assessment was finalised for the Validation Committee’s review.

In accordance with Article 4.c of Section 4 of the 2019 EITI Standard, the overall assessment consists of component scores on Stakeholder engagement, Transparency, and Outcomes and impact, as well as an overall numerical score. The component score represents an average of the points awarded for each applicable requirement. The points awarded on the effectiveness and sustainability indicators are added to the component score on Outcomes and impact. The overall score is the average of the three component scores.

Scorecard for Malawi: 2022

Assessment of EITI requirements

  • Not met
  • Partly met
  • Mostly met
  • Fully met
  • Exceeded
Component View more
Score

The three components of Validation each receive a score out of 100, as follows:

Low 0-49
Fairly low 50-69
Moderate 70-84
High 85-92
Very high 93-100
View more

Outcomes and impact

84 Moderate
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Outcomes and impact

1.5 Work plan

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.5 is fully met. Malawi EITI’s work plans are accessible on the MWEITI Website. There was broad consensus across all three constituencies that the objective of annual planning for EITI implementation to support implementation of national priorities for the extractive industries had been fulfilled. The current work plan, covering 2021-2022, was agreed in July 2021. The 2021-2022 work plan (and previous work plans) are formulated based on four strategic objective pillars, developed in alignment with the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy (MGDS) and the recently launched 2063 National Vision, which emphasises openness and transparency in natural resource governance. Alignment with the MGDS and the National Vision was also confirmed in the MWEITI MSG’s comments to the draft assessment. Moreover, the MWEITI MSG’s comments emphasised the inclusion of the forestry sector into EITI reporting and work plan activities as a sign of alignment with national priorities and stakeholder interests. The scope of EITI implementation, corrective actions from Validation, thematic priorities such as systematic disclosures, contract disclosure, beneficial ownership and anti-corruption as well as innovative efforts to cover the forestry sector and develop a gender policy are covered in the work plan. Explicitly linking to planned outcomes and outputs, the work plan includes over 20 specific activities that are costed, measurable and time-bound. Despite a well-drafted work plan, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected progress in its implementation. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG noted that the progress in addressing the activities in the work plan is tracked (pp.6-22). However, for example, plans to develop and implement a costed Remedial Action Plan (RAP) covering all previous EITI recommendations that remain unaddressed were postponed due to the pandemic, according to stakeholders consulted. Also, while it is clear from the minutes of MSG meetings that all constituencies on the MSG were consulted in the finalisation of the work plan, there is little evidence to demonstrate stakeholder consultations on the development of the work plan beyond MSG members. Stakeholder consultations did not highlight consultations with the broader constituencies. However, in its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG argued that stakeholder consultations were conducted, and stakeholder feedback was incorporated into the work plan. Despite the challenges, the MSG has undertaken efforts to link the work plan to a monitoring framework, with support from an external consultant. Based on the aforementioned, the Secretariat’s assessment is that Malawi EITI has made progress on both the required and encouraged aspects of Requirement 1.5 and thus has achieved the objective of this requirement. Several stakeholders consulted expressed satisfaction with the 2021-2022 MWEITI work plan and considered that the objective of annual EITI implementation planning supporting implementation of national priorities for the extractive industries had been fulfilled. Despite the limited capacity operating in a small extractive sector during a period of the pandemic, there is adequate evidence to suggest Malawi EITI have developed a robust results-based work plan that supports implementation of national objectives, captures innovation and thematic priorities and lays out specific realistic activities based on multi-stakeholder consultations. There is scope for Malawi EITI to clearly define target stakeholder groups and articulate more detailed plans for adhering to EITI Requirements 2.4 and 2.5 on contracts and beneficial ownership transparency.

7.1 Public debate

100

Considering limited contribution of the oil, gas and mining sectors to Malawi’s GDP and limitations caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.1 is exceeded. Most stakeholders consulted across constituencies considered that the objective of active dissemination of EITI data to generate public debate was being fulfilled or exceeded. MWEITI Reports, including the latest 2018-2020 EITI Report, are publicly accessible on the MWEITI website. The MSG has made efforts to actively promote MWEITI Reports through dissemination and training workshops as well as TV and radio shows. Malawi has agreed on an EITI Communications Strategy covering 2017-2022, which provides the framework for its outreach and dissemination activities. The MSG has recognised opportunities to revise and improve the communications plan as part of the 2021-2022 MWEITI work plan. Evidence provided by the MSG suggests that at least seven events were organised in the 2019-2021 period, targeting stakeholders in the Salima, Karonga and Rumphi Districts. To ensure the reports are publicly accessible to diverse range of stakeholder groups, the MSG further published summaries of EITI Reports in three local languages for previous EITI Reports, but not yet for the most recent EITI Report. A media task force was established by the MSG in 2020 bringing together press representatives, which received capacity building in a workshop in Salima. Evidence provided by the MSG suggests that the MSG facilitated discussions aimed at addressing corruption allegations in the renewal of the Ilomba Granite Mine license. None of the stakeholders consulted raised concerns over the MSG’s outreach and dissemination activities, although some CSOs consulted considered that the government and industry constituencies could have done more to contribute to these aspects of EITI implementation (see Requirements 1.1 and 1.2). Nonetheless, most stakeholders considered that the objective of enabling evidence-based public debate on extractive industry governance through EITI dissemination and outreach was being fulfilled, with many citing the example of the MSG’s role in the public debate on the Ilomba Granite Mine licensing affair. While most EITI outreach activities appear to be focused on awareness raising about the EITI rather than the dissemination of EITI findings and data, the Secretariat’s view is that these activities have generated the space for public debate on the extractive industries. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG argued for an upgrade in the assessment of this Requirement. Annex 1 to the MSG comments on the draft assessment provides additional details on the CSOs’ engagement in the EITI process in Malawi. This includes, for example, CSOs’ request to include Nyala mining company into the reporting process, CSO’s ability to use the EITI process to hold government agencies accountable on issues related to anti-corruption as well as inform public debate on the extractive sector management.

7.2 Data accessibility and open data

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.2 is mostly met. Stakeholders consulted did not express any views on whether the objective of broader use and analysis of information on the extractive industries through the publication of information in open data and interoperable formats had been fulfilled. However, in in its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG highlighted the progress made since the commencement of the 2022 Malawi Validation, including the renewal of the open data policy and preparation of the summary data files. Taking into account these recent developments, the Secretariat’s view is that the objective is mostly fulfilled, noting delays in preparation of EITI disclosures in an open format and the lack of publication of underlying data in Malawi’s EITI Reports in open format. Malawi EITI has had an Open Data policy since December 2016, which focuses on systematic disclosures by government entities and the use of data, rather than the rules related to accessibility, use and re-use of EITI data. While it appears that the MSG hasn’t made all EITI disclosures available in machine-readable, open data format, the Open Data Policy was updated on 23 June 2022 and published on the MWEITI website. The policy outlines the MWEITI’s plans aimed at “ensuring that data relating to natural resources revenue, expenditure and other information are easily accessible, user friendly, understood and raises public debate regarding the management of the oil, gas, mining and forestry industries” (pp.3-4). The MSG submitted summary data files for EITI reporting covering 2017-2020 to the International Secretariat through its comments on the draft assessment. However, the data in EITI Reports has not yet been published in an open format in accordance with Requirement 7.2.b nor been publicised by MWEITI. While both the old and updated versions of the Open Data Policy include a strong focus on building the capacity of government agencies on systematic disclosures, plans to initiate a systematic disclosure feasibility study appear to have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resource constraints. In practice, extractive sector disclosures by government and companies in Malawi are mainly through MWEITI Reports, in PDF format. Systematic disclosures by government related to mining licensing and contract disclosure are not yet in available open format. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG highlights that EITI Reports are shared with relevant academic institutions and their libraries, which is expected to improve data accessibility and data use.

7.3 Follow up on recommendations

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.3 is fully met in the period under review. Opinions were split among stakeholders consulted on whether the objective of ensuring that EITI implementation is a continuous learning process that contributes to policymaking was being fulfilled. While most stakeholders consulted considered that the objective was being fulfilled, several civil society stakeholders did not consider that this was the case given the lack of progress on EITI recommendations and their repetition across successive EITI Reports. However, available evidence indicates that there is a robust mechanism for following up on EITI recommendations in practice. The latest MWEITI Report provides an overview of progress made to address previous recommendations from EITI Reports. The evidence suggests that despite efforts by MSG members to implement recommendations from the previous MWEITI Reports, several of these recommendations, including those related to systematic disclosures, have yet to be implemented. The current work plan also includes steps to develop and implement a costed Remedial Action Plan (RAP) of all unaddressed recommendations of previous EITI Reports. While there is no evidence that this was carried out, stakeholder consultations explained that the plans to undertake a RAP had been delayed due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Secretariat's view is that these delays appear reasonable given the context of the pandemic. A corrective action matrix prepared by the MSG and submitted as part of this Validation provides an overview of key steps taken to address corrective actions. Available evidence suggests that actions have been taken to address some corrective actions. For example, the MSG developed a National Secretariat Sustainability Report in 2018-2019 to address recommendations related to government engagement in the EITI process. The report recommended that the National Secretariat should be integrated into the Ministry of Finance, under the Revenue Policy Department. Similar efforts have been undertaken to ensure improvement in work plan development in response to corrective actions from the last Validation. Thus, the Secretariat’s assessment is that the mechanism for follow-up on EITI recommendations has remained robust since the previous Validation and that the repetition of recommendations across EITI Reports is linked to the gradual nature of progress in their implementation.

7.4 Review of outcomes and impact of implementation

75

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 7.4 remains mostly met, with considerable improvements since the previous Validation. While stakeholder consultations identified numerous types of outcomes of impact from the EITI process to date, stakeholders consulted did not express any particular views on whether the objective of regular public monitoring and evaluation of EITI implementation had been fulfilled in the period under review. The Secretariat’s view is that it has not yet been achieved given the lack of review of the impact of EITI implementation on an annual basis despite publishing regular annual progress reports. Since the last Validation, Malawi EITI has documented outcomes and impacts of implementation through annual progress reports covering 2015-2020 published on the MWEITI website. The MSG’s ‘Outcomes and impact’ template published online for this Validation, documents progress from the last Validation to December 2021. These reports provide a summary of EITI activities, an assessment of progress in meeting EITI Requirements, an overview of the MSG’s responses to EITI recommendations and an assessment of progress in meeting work plan objectives. The latest MWEITI annual progress report, covering 2019-2020 and published in June 2020, includes a review of measures adopted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG includes comments on outreach and dissemination activities, and highlights the inclusion of the forestry sector into EITI reporting as one of the achievements reflecting stakeholders’ interests. However, neither the latest annual progress report nor any documents referenced in the MSG’s submission for this Validation provide a narrative overview of the outcomes and impacts of EITI implementation to date, nor of any MSG efforts to strengthen the EITI’s impact. Some civil society stakeholders consulted called for Malawi EITI to undertake a more dedicated review of the EITI’s impact. In addition, the level of consultations beyond members of the MSG in the development of the annual progress report in accordance with Requirement 7.4.b remains unclear. Thus, the Secretariat’s view is that the key corrective action from the previous Validation remains unaddressed, despite the progress since the last Validation.

Effectiveness and sustainability indicators

1

Stakeholder engagement

86.5 High
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Multi-stakeholder oversight

1.1 Government engagement

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.1 remains fully met, as in the previous Validation. Some stakeholders from different constituencies considered that government engagement in the EITI could be more proactive, for instance in following up on EITI reporting and reporting companies as well as recommendations from EITI reporting and Validation. However, the Secretariat’s view is that the objective of active government engagement has been fulfilled in the period under review. The government appears to be fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process. There have been regular public commitments to the EITI from high-level government officials in the 2018-2021 period and Minister of Finance Felix Litel Mlusu has provided effective leadership for EITI implementation in this period, including in ensuring adequate funding for implementation both from government and development partners. This engagement appears to have been matched at the operational level, as MSG meeting minutes reflect that the government has provided input to the design of the EITI process, actively participated in MSG meetings at a sufficiently senior level, provided data for EITI Reports and joined outreach and dissemination events. Indeed, there is evidence that the government has followed up on corruption allegations raised by civil society MSG members in relation to mining licensing irregularities and launched an investigation.

1.2 Company engagement

75

Given continued weaknesses in industry engagement in the EITI process, the Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.2 is mostly met, with some considerable improvements since the previous Validation. Stakeholders consulted confirmed that weaknesses in company reporting could not be attributed to any legal or regulatory barriers but were rather linked to short reporting deadlines or the perception that participation in EITI reporting was voluntary in nature. However, most stakeholders consulted appeared to consider that the objective of industry engagement could be further strengthened. The Secretariat’s view is that similar gaps persist as in the previous Validation and that the objective is mostly fulfilled. The industry constituency appears to have made some efforts to address the corrective action from the previous Validation, although gaps in the broader constituency’s engagement in the EITI have persisted and increased in relation to company participation in EITI reporting, in the period under review. While the industry constituency does not appear to have prepared a timebound action plan to address corrective actions from the previous Validation, there is evidence that the MSG has discussed the findings related to industry engagement on several occasions. Industry members appear to have broadly participated in MSG meetings in the 2018-2021 period, although participation from mining appears significantly stronger than from forestry or oil and gas both in the participation in meetings and in terms of engagement in MSG discussions. The addition of MSG representation for the oil and gas sector marks an improvement in industry engagement since the previous Validation, although there is no evidence of more proactive outreach to the broader constituencies beyond the formal MSG representation. In the context of a small sector with very few companies in oil and gas exploration, the constituency’s commitment to include representatives of oil and gas companies on the MSG marks an improvement in the constituency’s engagement. However, MSG meeting minutes indicate that participating MSG members have made regular contributions to the MSG’s proceedings. There is some evidence of industry MSG members and the Chambers of Mines and Energy participating in EITI outreach and dissemination, although the constituency does not appear to have been a key participant in EITI-related outreach in this period. According to the constituency’s submission for this Validation, the main mechanism for constituency coordination is through the Chambers of Mines and Energy, whose membership does not appear to have grown substantially since the period reviewed by the previous Validation. Besides annual meetings, the industry constituency appears to stay in contact and coordinate on EITI on an ad-hoc basis through WhatsApp and email groups, which include members of the two chambers. There is no documented evidence of outreach to extractive companies beyond the membership of the two industry associations, although industry stakeholders consulted explained that the Chamber of Mines had undertaken some outreach to non-member companies. There have been weaknesses in material company participation in the three EITI Reports published in 2019-2021. The share of non-reporting material companies has increased, from two out of 18 material companies not reporting in the 2016-17 EITI Report, to four out of 17 material companies in the 2017-18 EITI Report, and ten out of the 16 material companies in the 2018-20 EITI Report. Some stakeholders consulted considered that the rise in the number of non-reporting companies in the latest EITI Report was partly attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic, although several stakeholders noted that challenges in comprehensive industry reporting pre-dated the pandemic. While the lack of participation in the latest EITI Report by either of the two material oil and gas companies is partly explained by the two companies’ exit from Malawi since the period under review, the lack of participation of six of the nine material mining companies in the 2018-20 EITI Report is a significant concern. None of the non-reporting companies is a subsidiary of EITI Supporting Companies. There is no evidence of follow-up with non-reporting companies by either government or industry, while the IA’s follow-up appears to only have been supported by the National Secretariat. There appears to be an enabling environment for company participation in EITI implementation, but the underlining objective of full, active and effective participation of companies is not yet fulfilled. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG highlighted the planned efforts aimed at strengthening company reporting and engagement in the EITI process. The Secretariat’s view is that there have been considerable improvements in industry engagement since the previous Validation given efforts to undertake outreach to the broader constituency in the context of a small sector, with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic a key factor for the rise in non-reporting companies in the latest EITI Report.

1.3 Civil society engagement

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.3 remains fully met, as in the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of proactive civil society engagement in the EITI was being fulfilled and that there was broadly an enabling environment for civil society participation in the EITI process, despite differing views on the existence of broader civil society constraints in Malawi. Malawi’s rankings in Freedom in the World and CIVICUS have remained ‘partly free’ and ‘obstructed’ respectively between 2018 and 2022. However, civil society remains fully, actively and effectively engaged in all aspects of the EITI process and appears to have been a key driver of MSG discussions in the 2018-2021 period. Evidence submitted in the MSG’s templates for this Validation and stakeholder consultations indicated that civil society freely engages in the EITI process, including in outreach and dissemination, input to the design of EITI implementation and participation in EITI events. Available documentation reflects civil society’s ability to freely associate and assemble in relation to EITI activities, and to use the EITI process to influence public decision-making on the extractive industries, for instance in its use of the EITI to follow up on corruption allegations in the mining licensing process. There is also evidence of use of EITI data by CSOs (see Requirement 7.1). Minutes of MSG meetings and records of other EITI activities such as outreach events indicate that CSOs proactively provide input to all aspects of the EITI process. There is no evidence of any new restrictions on civil society’s capacity to engage in all aspects of the EITI. While several stakeholders highlighted a draft NGO bill under deliberation in Parliament since 2020 that would bring in new curbs for CSOs, they noted that it was currently being revised by the Ministry of Justice following significant opposition from civil society and that it was unlikely to be enacted in the previous form.

1.4 MSG governance

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 1.4 remains ‘fully met’, as in the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted broadly considered that the objective of balanced multi-stakeholder oversight of EITI implementation had been fulfilled, particularly driven by a vibrant civil society. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective of meaningful multistakeholder oversight of all aspects of EITI implementation has been achieved. The MSG appears to have continued to provide effective oversight of all aspects of EITI implementation in the 2018-2021 period. The MSG continues to include self-appointed representatives from each stakeholder group with no suggestion of interference or coercion in the renewal of industry and civil society MSG membership in April 2021. Despite the lack of formalised constituency nominations procedures, the MSG member selection process continues to be coordinated by CONGOMA/NRJN for civil society and the Chamber of Mines and Energy (CMEM) for industry, as in the period under review in the previous Validation. In December 2019, the MSG amended its ToR to expand industry MSG membership to the forestry and petroleum sectors, bolstering the industry’s representation on the MSG. There is no evidence of any stakeholder being disenfranchised during the April 2021 nominations to the MSG, although the lengthy process for industry nominations appears to effectively lead to the nomination of all candidates given the low level of volunteers for MSG membership. The MSG’s ‘Outcomes and impact’ template for this Validation mentions a policy on gender balance in nominations to the MSG with provisions for either a full member or an alternate MSG member to be female. However, these provisions for gender parity do not appear to be adhered to in practice. The MSG’s ToR has not substantially changed since the period reviewed by the previous Validation and appears to have broadly been respected in practice. The MSG’s three sub-committees (on financial risks and audit, communication and engagement, and beneficial ownership) appear to effectively support the MSG’s work. The practice of the MSG’s internal governance and procedures appears to have been in line with the MSG’s governance documents. Despite some stakeholders’ concerns over capacity constraints of certain MSG members, there is evidence that the MSG has gained strength in the 2018-2021 period, including in its follow-up on corruption allegations in mining licensing in 2021. Many stakeholders considered that this was due primarily to leadership from civil society on the MSG, with some considering that the government and industry constituencies on the MSG could have been more proactive in following up on the allegations. Further work could be done to ensure more broad consultations with members outside the MSG when preparing key EITI documents, such as the work plan and the annual review of outcomes and impact.

Transparency

70 Moderate
Scorecard by requirement
Assessment
Assessment of EITI Requirements

Validation assesses the extent to which each EITI Requirement is met, using five categories. The component score is an average of the points awarded for each requirement that falls within the component.

Overview of the extractive industries

3.1 Exploration data

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 3.1 remains fully met, as in the previous Validation. Stakeholders consulted did not express views on whether the objective of public access to an overview of the extractive sector had been fulfilled. The Secretariat’s view is that this objective has been achieved through EITI disclosures, although not yet through systematic disclosures by government and companies. An overview of the extractive sector is included in the 2018-2020 EITI Report, which also includes a brief discussion of significant exploration activities. The report provides cursory references to some of the key companies operating in the extractives industries in Malawi, and a brief description of some of the key projects in the exploration phase, given that current extractive production is primarily dominated by quarrying.

6.3 Contribution of the extractive sector to the economy

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 6.3 is mostly met. There appears to have been back-sliding since the period reviewed in the previous Validation, when Requirement 6.3 was assessed as ‘satisfactory progress’. Most stakeholders consulted did not express views on progress towards the objective of public understanding of the extractive industries’ contribution to the national economy. However, some CSOs considered that the objective had been achieved given the lack of reliable data on the contribution of informal extractive activities to the economy and the negligible government revenues collected from oil and gas. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective has not yet been fulfilled given the lack of information on the contribution of the extractive industries to total government revenues and total employment. Systematic disclosures of information on the extractive industries’ contribution to the economy are limited in Malawi. Malawi’s 2018-2020 EITI Report provides information on the size of the mining sector in absolute and relative terms for 2018-2019, alongside projections for 2019-2020. Stakeholder consultations highlighted the importance of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) in Malawi and noted the ongoing development of specific policies regulating ASM activities. The 2018-2020 EITI Report provides only 2002 employment data for ASM as well as rough production estimates for gemstones. The report highlights the difficulties in obtaining updated statistics on ASM, while providing recommendations for further legal, regulatory and monitoring improvements. Some CSOs consulted considered that there were no credible third-party estimates of informal extractive activities in Malawi. The report provides the value of total government revenues for mining, oil and gas, transportation, and forestry sectors in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 in absolute terms. However, it does not provide information about the relative share of government revenues from the extractive industries. Exports from the mining sector are reported in absolute terms and as a percentage of total exports. The report provides information on employment in the mining sector, but not in oil and gas, for both of the fiscal years under review. however, the report does not provide employment information disaggregated by gender, company and occupational level. Data on extractive industry employment is not provided as a share of total employment. The gaps related to employment in the oil and gas sector appear to be of marginal significance, given the small number of companies in the sector that have since ceased operations. EITI reporting and stakeholder consultations confirm that the oil and gas sector was still at the exploration stage during the reporting years and therefore its contribution to GDP, exports and employment was not considered significant in 2018-2020. Information on the key regions where production is concentrated is disclosed through EITI reporting and available on the Malawi Mining Cadastre Map Portal.

Legal and fiscal framework

2.1 Legal framework

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.1 remains fully met, as in the previous Validation. Stakeholders consulted broadly considered that the objective of public understanding of all aspects of the regulatory framework for the extractive industries had been fulfilled. Through EITI reporting, Malawi has disclosed a summary description of the legal framework governing its extractive industries, including an overview of the roles of government agencies, levels of fiscal devolution, the tax regime applicable to the industries and a description of ongoing and planned reforms relevant to the sector in the period under review. Stakeholder consultations highlighted several recent and ongoing legal and regulatory reforms, including revisions to petroleum legislation, which implied that there was scope to strengthen government entities’ systematic disclosures of this information.

2.4 Contracts

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that the criteria of Phase 1 of the Validation framework for Requirement 2.4 are mostly met. Some government officials consulted considered that the objective of public accessibility of all licenses and contracts underpinning extractive activities had not yet been fulfilled given capacity constraints that had hindered the full publication of all contracts and licenses to date. Several CSOs considered that the objective had not been achieved given concerns over gaps in the comprehensiveness of contract and license disclosures. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective has been mostly fulfilled given gaps in the review of disclosure practices and the lack of disclosure of contracts and licenses awarded or amended since the start of 2021. Malawi has used its EITI reporting to clarify the government's policy on contract and license disclosure in the mining, petroleum and forestry sectors, and oil, gas and mining contracts appear to be disclosed on a third-party site (ResourceContracts.org). Malawi’s 2016-18 national action plan for the Open Government Partnership (OGP) included commitments to disclose all extractive contracts, although the level of follow-up on these commitments remains unclear. However, some CSOs considered that there was no mechanism for systematically publishing all extractive contracts and expressed scepticism about whether all mining contracts had yet been published online. Several CSOs noted that mining, oil and gas contracts had been published ahead of the previous Validation, but that no new contracts had been published since then. While Malawi EITI has made progress in the public disclosure of the full text of contracts, the progress in disclosure of the full text of licenses has not yet been commensurate with the level of transparency on contracts. The policy and practice related to the publication of the full text of extractive licenses are covered by the government’s general contract disclosure policy, which covers all extractive rights documents. Several CSOs consulted noted that mining exploration and production licenses were meant to be publicly accessible but that this was not the case in practice, with the example of the non-publication of the successor license to Nyala Mining Ltd awarded in 2019 cited as an example. There is no evidence that Malawi EITI has compiled and published a comprehensive list of all active mining, oil and gas licenses and contracts (including annexes, amendments and riders), indicating which have been published, with links to each published document. The MSG has prepared a list of licenses and contracts that have been publicly disclosed, but has not yet published a comprehensive list of active licenses and contracts, clearly identifying the specific licenses and contracts that have not yet been publicly disclosed. Stakeholder consultations indicated that the MSG has reviewed the oil and gas contracts as well as the mining contracts considered the largest in the sector but had not yet reviewed all active contracts and licenses to assess their public availability. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG notes that the EITI Reports and the Mining Cadastre include information on licenses. However, it is unclear from MWEITI and other public sources whether any new licenses and contracts have been awarded or amended since 1 January 2021 (given that the mining cadastre is not searchable by date of award), or whether the full text of such contracts and licenses are publicly disclosed. Government officials consulted confirmed that around 50 new exploration licenses and ten new production licenses had been awarded since the start of 2021, although the full list of rights awarded since the start of 2021 does not appear publicly accessible, and the full text of these documents has not yet been published. The MSG’s comments on the draft assessment noted ongoing negotiations to conclude a number of Mining Development Agreements (MDAs) and expressed the government’s commitment to publish the full text of such agreements once concluded, but do not comment on the public accessibility of the full text of mining licenses.

6.4 Environmental impact

Not assessed

Requirement 6.4 is an encouraged aspect of the EITI Standard and is therefore not assessed in Validation unless there is evidence that the country has exceeded the requirement. The 2018-2020 Malawi EITI Report provides limited information on the environmental impact of extractive industries, except for highlighting challenges related to the ASM sub-sector. Stakeholder consultations demonstrated public interest in the topic, including strengthening systematic disclosure of relevant data.

Licenses

2.2 Contract and license allocations

60

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 2.2 is mostly met, which represents backsliding compared to the previous Validation. Opinions were split over whether the objective of transparency in extractive licensing practices had been achieved, with several stakeholders consulted arguing strongly that it had not. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective has not yet been fulfilled, given stakeholder concerns over deviations from statutory license allocation procedures in practice that contradict the findings of Malawi’s EITI reporting. The 5th MWEITI Report provides an overview of all new extractive licenses issued in the period under review. Malawi's EITI reporting provides an overview of the statutory procedures followed by the Department of Mines in awarding minerals and petroleum licenses, including technical and financial criteria assessed. There is no discussion in EITI Reporting, or through systematic disclosure, of non-trivial deviations between policy and practice in mining licensing in the period under review, aside from the 5th MWEITI Report's statement that there were no such deviations in the period under review, without a description of the basis for this assessment. Most stakeholders consulted highlighted the alleged corruption around the renewal of the Ilomba mining license in the year after the period covered by the latest EITI Report, which led to a formal corruption investigation following an outcry by civil society. This was cited by several stakeholders consulted as an alleged example of significant non-trivial deviations in mining licensing practices. In addition, the EITI Report does not provide an overview of license transfers in the period under review, nor the statutory procedures for transfers of oil and gas contracts and licenses, or participating interests therein. Stakeholder consultations indicate that at least two license transfers had taken place in this period. In its comments on the draft assessment and Annex 2 to them, the MWEITI MSG confirms that there are clear procedures for contract and license allocations, but does not comment on the contract and license transfers in the period under review.

2.3 Register of licenses

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.3 is fully met. Since the last Validation, Malawi EITI has addressed the key corrective action from the previous Validation by disclosing all license information listed in Requirement 2.3.b aside from disclosure of dates of application. Stakeholder consultations revealed broad consensus that the objective of public accessibility of comprehensive information on property rights related to extractive rights had been fulfilled. The previous Validation had not considered the lack of online publication of dates of application for extractive licenses to constitute a gap given that these were considered available upon request in person. Government officials consulted confirmed that dates of application for all licenses were available from the Ministry of Mining and explained that upgrades to the Ministry’s cadastral portal were underway to ensure disclosure of this additional data for all licenses and to extend the cadastral portal to oil and gas. Thus, the Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 2.3 is fully met, given stakeholder views on progress towards the objective and stakeholder confirmation that dates of application for all extractive licenses are available upon request.

Ownership

2.5 Beneficial ownership

30

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.5 is partly met. None of the stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of public understanding of who ultimately owns and controls the companies operating in the country’s extractive industries had yet been fulfilled, although opinions varied about the level of progress achieved to date. Several government officials and the IA considered that Malawi was on the right path towards beneficial ownership transparency given that the draft beneficial ownership legislation that would cover all sectors was under development. However, several CSOs consulted considered that there were still significant efforts required to ensure beneficial ownership transparency, noting for instance that shareholder information for all extractive companies was not yet publicly accessible. Malawi has used its EITI reporting to formalise the government’s policy on beneficial ownership disclosures, expanding the scope of the government’s pro-disclosure policy to companies operating in all sectors of the economy in Malawi, although it has not yet established a legal and regulatory framework for beneficial ownership disclosures. The MSG’s submission for this Validation noted that progress on beneficial ownership disclosures had been slowed by resource constraints. Nonetheless, a definition of “beneficial owner” and “politically-exposed person” has been agreed. While beneficial ownership data has not yet been requested from all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses, Malawi has used its EITI disclosures to seek to collect data on the beneficial owners of companies included in the scope of EITI reporting. However, weaknesses in companies’ EITI reporting means that no beneficial ownership data has been publicly disclosed to date. While the MSG has agreed on quality assurances for ownership disclosures through the EITI, the assurances for mandatory reporting under the proposed legal reforms were still being finalised in 2022. Malawi has published a cursory review of the comprehensiveness of beneficial ownership disclosures by EITI reporting companies, but not of beneficial ownership data collection from other extractive companies beyond the scope of EITI reporting. Stakeholder consultations highlighted plans to establish a public beneficial ownership register as part of the Malawi Business Registration System maintained by the Registrar General, part of the Ministry of Justice. The Registrar General had started collecting some ownership data manually but was awaiting enactment of the beneficial ownership legislation to collect beneficial ownership data including name, occupation, residential address, and share of ownership or control. However, government officials noted that the draft legislation did not include disclosure requirements for politically exposed persons, although it was expected to set a 5% disclosure threshold in line with the threshold agreed by Malawi EITI. Malawi has publicly identified the stock exchange where some of the publicly listed extractive companies operating in the country are listed, although this does not appear to include all publicly listed companies, nor include guidance for accessing companies’ disclosures to their respective stock exchange regulators. Malawi does not maintain a publicly accessible company register providing information on legal owners, although Malawi has used its latest (2018-20) EITI Report to disclose the shareholders of seven of the 17 material companies included in the scope of reporting. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWEITI MSG argues for an upgrade of a score, but notes that ensuring full beneficial ownership disclosure through EITI reporting was challenging due to the absence of enabling legislation. The comments highlight the importance of the development of the beneficial ownership regulations that are expected to be published soon. Given that several aspects of the initial criteria of Requirement 2.5 have not yet been addressed, including the establishment of an enabling legal framework and the request of beneficial ownership data from all companies holding or applying for extractive licenses, the Secretariat’s view is that the objective of the full set of criteria in Requirement 2.5 (which are assessed in Validations from January 2022 onwards) is not met.

State participation

2.6 State participation

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 2.6 remains not applicable in Malawi in the period under review. There is no evidence of any SOEs in line with the definition in Requirement 2.6 in Malawi in the period under review. The level of progress in addressing this requirement has been maintained since the previous Validation, though the MSG is advised to re-confirm its non-applicability annually, through the EITI reporting process.

4.2 In-kind revenues

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.2 remains not applicable in Malawi in the period under review. There is no evidence of any in-kind revenues in line with the definition in Requirement 4.2 in Malawi in the period under review. The level of progress in addressing this requirement has been maintained since the previous Validation, though the MSG is advised to re-confirm its non-applicability annually, through the EITI reporting process.

4.5 SOE transactions

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.5 remains not applicable in Malawi in the period under review. There is no evidence of any SOEs in line with the definition in Requirement 2.6 in Malawi in the period under review. The level of progress in addressing this requirement has been maintained since the previous Validation, though the MSG is advised to re-confirm its non-applicability annually, through the EITI reporting process.

6.2 SOE quasi-fiscal expenditures

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 6.2 remains not applicable in Malawi in the period under review. There is no evidence of any SOEs in line with the definition in Requirement 2.6 in Malawi in the period under review. The level of progress in addressing this requirement has been maintained since the previous Validation, though the MSG is advised to re-confirm its non-applicability annually, through the EITI reporting process.

Production and exports

3.2 Production data

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 3.2 is fully met. The previous Validation assessed this requirement as ‘beyond’. According to the current Validation model, all aspects of the requirement, including ‘expected’, ‘encouraged’ and ‘recommended’ aspects, need to be addressed and the broader objective of the requirement needs to be fulfilled through systematic disclosures in government and company systems for the country to achieve an assessment of ‘exceeded’. Most stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of public understanding of extractive commodity production had been fulfilled, although some CSOs consulted expressed concern over the level of disaggregation of certain production disclosures in Malawi’s EITI reporting, which they asked to be broken down by individual project. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective has been fulfilled given the availability of production data on all extractive commodities produced in Malawi, even if these are not yet disaggregated or systematically disclosed as encouraged by Requirement 3.2. Malawi has used its EITI reporting as a diagnostic tool for the Department of Mines production figures by comparing these with data (production volumes and values) disclosed by companies reporting in EITI. However, the extractive production data has not yet been published disaggregated by region, company or project, and does not include sources and the methods for calculating production volumes and values.

3.3 Export data

90

The Secretariat's assessment is that Requirement 3.3 remains fully met, as in the previous Validation. Most stakeholders consulted considered that the objective of ensuring public understanding of extractive commodity exports had been fulfilled. Several stakeholders from different constituencies highlighted the central bank’s establishment of an Export Development Fund to seek to formalise exports of artisanal-mined gold, which some government officials attributed in part to findings of past EITI Reports that identified weaknesses in oversight of gold export. Malawi's EITI reporting has disclosed volumes and values of exports of extractive commodities (coal, dimension stones, rock aggregate, gemstones, rock/soil samples), it has not disaggregated this data by region, company or project, nor included sources and methods for calculating export volumes and values. While only the values, not the volumes, of the Reserve Bank of Malawi's (RBM) annual gold exports are disclosed in EITI reporting, these are accessible on the RBM's website.

Revenue collection

4.1 Comprehensiveness

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.1 is mostly met. There were different opinions among stakeholders consulted over whether the objective of comprehensive disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining had been achieved. While government and industry stakeholders consulted broadly considered the objective to have been fulfilled, they conceded that there had been weaknesses in company participation in EITI reporting. Several civil society representatives consulted did not consider the broader objective to have been met given gaps in company reporting and general concerns over the comprehensiveness of government disclosures, even if no specific examples of gaps in government disclosures were provided. The 2018-2020 EITI Report was produced based on a “flexible” EITI reporting approach, although the MSG reconciled payments from the largest companies by size of payments to government with government revenues. Stakeholder consultations confirmed that the MSG had adopted the “flexible” EITI reporting to include more recent information on the extractive industries and provide an analysis of the COVID-19 impact on the economy, but that it had maintained the conventional approach to reconciliation, nonetheless. Stakeholders consulted from all constituencies confirmed that the decision to maintain reconciliation was deliberate given the perceived added value, in an environment where trust in unilateral disclosures had been relatively low. The EITI Report describes the MSG’s approach to selecting material revenue streams and companies for reconciliation, and lists material entities’ names and describes the material revenue streams. Although the MSG appears to have added non-material companies to the scope of reconciliation, there is sufficient information in the EITI Report to demonstrate that all companies making material payments to government were included in the scope of reporting. Stakeholder consultations noted that the additional non-material companies had been included in the scope of reporting given that they were involved in transactions covered by EITI Requirements other than the reconciliation of company payments and government revenues. Although the EITI Report and scoping study only provide the government’s unilateral disclosures of total revenues per receiving government entity, not by revenue stream, which hinders the ability to calculate the reconciliation coverage per revenue stream, it appears that all revenue streams listed in Requirement 4.1.c have been considered and only excluded based on quantitative materiality grounds. All material government entities were reported, and the EITI Report lists the names of the eight out of 11 material companies that did not report (including six in mining, and two in oil and gas), as well as the materiality of each non-reporting company’s payments to government. The high number of non-reporting material companies is a concern however and implies that the reconciliation coverage was significantly lower than the 89% of total government revenues in mining and 100% of revenues in oil and gas that were meant to be covered by the reconciliation. Indeed, non-reporting companies included larger mining license-holders such as cement producer Lafarge Holcim. The lack of reporting by oil and gas companies is a minor concern, given the low value of payments to government from the sector. Several stakeholders consulted highlighted the context for the production of the latest EITI Report, which had taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic when several companies had ceased operations. However, other stakeholders highlighted with concern the lack of reporting by mining license-holders that had been the source of public debate in recent years, including Nyala Mining Limited and Ilomba Granite Mining. Stakeholder consultations noted that the IA and national secretariat had followed up with non-reporting companies, but that they had simply failed to report despite pledging to do so. However, stakeholders consulted confirmed that discrepancies in the reconciliation of payments from companies that did report were not considered significant and did not affect the comprehensiveness or reliability of reconciled data, given the provision of government disclosures of revenues. The EITI Report provides a partial overview of the status of audits of material extractive companies’ financial statements covering the period under review but does not provide guidance on accessing these financial statements.

4.4 Transportation revenues

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.4 is not applicable in the period under review. Stakeholders consulted did not express any views on whether the government collected any revenues from the transportation of mineral commodities. The Secretariat’s view is that the objective of ensuring transparency in government revenues from the transit of oil, gas and minerals is not applicable in Malawi in the period under review given that the government does not collect any such revenues at present. This is the same situation as assessed in the previous Validation. The 2018-20 EITI Report confirms that all minerals produced in Malawi are transported by trucks owned and operated by the mining companies, which implies that transport revenues accruing to the government are not material. However, the report also describes a concession agreement concluded by the government with Vale in 2011, which allowed the Brazilian mining company to build a 136.5km railway through Malawi to link the company’s Mozambique mine near Moatize to the deep-water port of Nacala in Mozambique. The railway, which started operations in 2016, is described as a concession held by Vale, which implies that the company would make railway concession fee payments to the government rather than paying the government for the transportation of mineral commodities.

4.8 Data timeliness

90

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.8 is fully met. Several stakeholders highlighted the coverage of two fiscal years in the latest MWEITI Report as a means of ensuring the timeliness of EITI reporting. However, others considered that EITI data would be more useful if published on a timelier basis. The Secretariat’s view is that Malawi has met the Board-approved timelines for its EITI disclosures and that the objective of sufficiently timely publication of data to be relevant to inform public debate and policymaking has been fulfilled. Despite an extension request granted in July 2021, Malawi has published EITI Reports within the Board-approved timelines, with its 4th (2017-18) MWITI Report published in December 2019 and its 5th (2018-20) MWEITI Report published in December 2021. The MSG has consistently documented its approval of the reporting period and method of accounting for Malawi EITI financial data.

4.3 Infrastructure provisions and barter arrangements

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.3 is not applicable in the period under review. Several stakeholders from all constituencies confirmed that the expenditures required of Nyala Mines Ltd in accordance with its license should be categorised as social expenditures rather than barter-type infrastructure provisions. Thus, several stakeholders from all constituencies considered that the objective of transparency in barter-type agreements was not applicable to Malawi in the period under review. While the 2018-20 EITI Report refers to an agreement between the government and Nyala Mines Ltd that it categorises as containing barter-type infrastructure provisions, the description of this agreement does not indicate any transactions of physical goods or services in exchange for license awards or the physical delivery of extractive commodities, but rather a series of contractually mandated social expenditures (see Requirement 6.1). Thus, the Secretariat does not find any evidence of barter-type infrastructure provisions active in Malawi in the period under review. Several stakeholders consulted noted that Nyala Mines’ license had expired recently and that none of the social expenditures mandated by the license agreement had been implemented in practice.

4.7 Level of disaggregation

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.7 is mostly met. While most stakeholders consulted did not express particular views, the IA considered that there were still gaps with the objective of disaggregation in public disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining. The Secretariat’s view is that EITI reporting could be used as a means of tracking implementation of national laws requiring the ring-fencing of tax revenues per project, but that the objective of enabling the public to assess the extent to which the government can monitor its revenues as defined by the mining legal and fiscal framework has not yet been fulfilled. The 2018-20 EITI Report describes the legal reforms to the Taxation Act in 2016 with amendments to the mining fiscal regime that ring-fence tax liabilities per mining project. However, these provisions have not been implemented to date given continued reflection on how to apply them retroactively to pre-existing license-holders. However, the EITI Report does not address the project-level disaggregation of non-tax revenues specific to the mining, oil and gas sectors such as license fees and royalty. Stakeholder consultations confirmed that non-tax revenues levied on the extractive industries were at a project level. Malawi EITI’s disclosures of financial data on company payments and government revenues are disaggregated by government entity, revenue stream and company, they are not yet disaggregated by project for non-tax revenue streams that are levied on a project (license) level. The latest EITI Report only recommends that the MSG undertakes a study of project-level reporting, rather than providing any detailed overview or concrete recommendations related to project-level disclosures.

4.9 Data quality and assurance

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.9 is mostly met. Opinions of stakeholders consulted were split over whether the objective of ensuring the reliability of disclosures of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas and mining had been fulfilled. Several civil society stakeholders expressed scepticism over the reliability of EITI data given the lack of trust in government systems. Government officials consulted considered that the objective had been fulfilled given the lack of material discrepancies in reconciliation and the lack of adverse National Audit Office (NAO, the Supreme Audit Institution) opinion on public accounts in recent years. The Secretariat’s view is that gaps in adherence to agreed quality assurances for EITI disclosures and the lack of sufficient review of government audit and assurance practices indicate that the broader objective for the EITI to contribute to strengthening routine government and company audit and assurance systems and practices has not yet been fulfilled. Malawi’s Auditor General publishes annual reports on public accounts, although audited financial statements of extractive companies do not appear publicly accessible. Malawi has used its most recent (2018-20) EITI reporting to provide a review of government and extractive company audit procedures but has only provided a review of company audit practices in the period under review, not of government audit practices. Malawi EITI has opted for a “flexible” EITI reporting approach for the 5th (2018-20) MWEITI Report, although this implied maintaining the conventional EITI reconciliation combined with more forward-looking information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The report describes the quality assurances agreed for EITI reporting and the level of adherence with the required documentation, with information on the materiality of payments from non-complying companies. This indicates that four of the 16 material companies provided the required quality assurances for their EITI reporting, while all material government entities provided these assurances. However, the high number of companies (12 of 16 material companies) that did not comply with the agreed quality assurances is a concern. The EITI Report is transparent about weaknesses in adherence to quality assurances for EITI reporting and provides recommendations for strengthening adherence. The updated version of the 2018-20 EITI Report includes a statement on the comprehensiveness and reliability of financial data disclosed by extractive companies that participated in EITI reporting, but not on the overall comprehensiveness and reliability of financial data on all company payments and government revenues. Therefore, the findings of the reconciliation do not seem to have led to any broader conclusions regarding the completeness and reliability of data on total revenues from the extractive industries. The report does not use its recommendations to cover suggestions related to strengthening government and company audit and assurance practices and financial disclosures. All information in Malawi’s EITI reporting appears clearly sourced, with mechanisms established for the confidentiality of information pre-reconciliation and documentation of the MSG’s approval of the ToR for the IA and reporting templates.

Revenue management

5.1 Distribution of revenues

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 5.1 is mostly met. Opinions of stakeholders consulted were split over whether the objective of traceability of extractive revenues to the national budget and ensuring the same level of transparency and accountability for extractive revenues that are not recorded in the national budget had been fulfilled. Several government officials considered that all government revenues were recorded in the national budget, although several CSOs consulted raised significant concerns over the management of the Petroleum Training Fund and the lack of transparency in the management of these funds. Malawi has used its EITI reporting to trace extractive industry revenues collected by government to the national budget. The latest (2018-2020) EITI Report provides confirmation that the majority of government extractive revenues are transferred to the single Treasury account and recorded in the national budget, with the exception of oil and gas companies’ contributions to the Petroleum Training Fund. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MWETI MSG indicated that the updated version of the 2018-2020 EITI Report includes some information on the Forest Development Management Fund, Petroleum Development Fund and Railways Transport Fund. However, the EITI Report does not provide the value of funds in the Petroleum Training Fund in 2018-20, nor provide any detailed explanation of the management of revenues in this fund, with reference to relevant financial reports. The lack of information on the value of contributions to the Petroleum Training Fund is a similar gap to that identified in the previous Validation. Stakeholder consultations confirmed the lack of publicly accessible financial reports related to the management of the fund. Several CSOs criticised this lack of transparency in the management of these contributions and considered that this represented a form of extractive revenues that were not recorded in the national budget. Malawi has not yet used its EITI reporting to describe the national revenue classification system, which would facilitate cross-referencing of EITI financial data with budget documents.

5.3 Revenue management and expenditures

Not assessed

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 5.3 remains not assessed in Malawi in the period under review, given that Malawi has made progress on some, but not yet all, of the encouraged aspects of Requirement 5.3. Several stakeholders called for more EITI disclosures on expenditures funded by extractive revenues, with several CSOs considering that the objective of strengthening public oversight of the use of extractives revenues to fund public expenditures had not yet been fulfilled. Stakeholders consulted from other constituencies did not express views on progress towards this objective. The Secretariat’s view is that Malawi has made some progress in mapping the public availability of information on the budget and audit procedures but has not yet used its EITI reporting to disclose additional information to clarify the assumptions underlying the budget process. The 2018-20 EITI Report provides information on the budget and audit process, including links to relevant audit reports. However, the EITI Report does not clarify whether or not there are any extractives revenues earmarked for specific programmes or geographic regions in Malawi, although the MSG’s template submission for this Validation indicates that there are none at present. However, the report does not appear to provide timely information from the government that would enhance public information and debate around issues of revenue sustainability.

Subnational contributions

5.2 Subnational transfers

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 5.2 remains not applicable in Malawi in the period under review. As confirmed in stakeholder consultations, the 2018-20 EITI Report notes that there are no subnational transfers of extractive revenues in Malawian legislation.

4.6 Subnational payments

Not applicable

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 4.6 remains not applicable in Malawi in the period under review. As confirmed in stakeholder consultations, the 2018-20 EITI Report notes that none of the subnational governments in Malawi collects any direct or indirect revenues from extractive companies.

6.1 Social and environmental expenditures

60

The Secretariat’s assessment is that Requirement 6.1 is mostly met. There were differing opinions among stakeholders consulted over whether the objective of enabling public understanding of extractive companies’ social and environmental contributions had been fulfilled. While some government and industry stakeholders consulted considered that the transparency on social expenditures achieved through EITI reporting was sufficient, several CSOs consulted expressed concerns over what they considered insufficient transparency on social expenditures. Several CSOs questioned whether mining companies reported accurately on the cost of their social expenditure in their public disclosures, noting that the evidence of social investments on the ground often did not match the claimed investment. While several stakeholders considered that extractive companies were not required to make any payments to government related to the environment at present, other stakeholders consulted called for a more comprehensive review of applicable laws and regulations before concluding that there were no such payments to government. Malawi has used its EITI reporting to disclose both mandatory and voluntary social expenditures, although it has not sufficiently clarified the legal and contractual basis for some mandatory social expenditures disclosed. While all of the information listed in Requirement 6.1.a is provided for the two companies’ mandatory social expenditures disclosed in the 2018-20 EITI Report, the comprehensiveness of these disclosures is unclear. Some of these reported mandatory social expenditures include payments on behalf of employees more akin to social security contributions (such as pension contributions on behalf of employees) than social expenditures. Stakeholder consultations noted that the legal provisions requiring mining companies to conclude Community Development Agreements (CDAs) only came into force in 2019 with the amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act, but that these were only required of larger mining companies. The MSG does not yet appear to have categorised which mining companies are required to conclude such CDAs in practice, however, nor provide any commentary on whether such CDAs were effectively concluded in 2019. While stakeholders consulted agreed that all social expenditures codified in a CDA would be considered mandatory, they explained that these expenditures would not have been effective in the period under review (2018-20). Government officials noted that regular company reporting on the status of implementation of CDAs would be required from all relevant companies, although it was unclear from consultations whether the responsibility for monitoring adherence with the terms of CDAs would rest with the Ministry of Mining or with the Ministry of Local Governments. None of the stakeholders consulted raised concerns over the idea of publishing the full text of CDAs in future, although this had not yet been discussed or agreed to date. Stakeholder consultations also confirmed that the contractually mandated social expenditures required of Nyala Mining Ltd should be considered as forms of mandatory social expenditures rather than barter-type infrastructure provisions as categorised in the 2018-20 EITI Report. However, there was consensus among stakeholders consulted that none of these expenditures had been undertaken by Nyala Mining Ltd, which some stakeholders considered was a reason for the non-renewal of the company’s mining license. With regards to environmental payments to government, the 2018-20 EITI Report does not refer to any such payments although the MSG’s ‘Transparency’ template submission for this Validation noted that such requirements were not applicable to Malawi in the period under review. However, it is unclear whether Malawi EITI considered any revenues collected from extractive companies collected by government entities other than the MRA, DOM or TEVETA that may be related to the environment. Although Annex 8 of the 2018-20 EITI Report provide two extractive companies’ disclosures of environmental payments, these appear to be environmental expenditures for the benefit of non-government beneficiaries (such as expenditures for tree planting) rather than forms of payments to government related to the environment. However, the 2018-20 EITI Report notes that provisions of the 2017 Environmental Management Bill no. 23 related to the requirement for Environmental and Social Impact Assessments came into force in 2019, implying that payments to government related to these assessments became effective in 2019. It is unclear whether such environmental payments to government were material in the period under review, however. Thus, the comprehensiveness of Malawi EITI’s review of environmental payments to government is unclear from the EITI Report and other MWEITI documents. The Secretariat’s view is that there have been improvements in MWEITI disclosures related to social expenditures, in terms of the granularity of disclosures, although there remain concerns over the comprehensiveness of disclosures of both mandatory social expenditures and potential environmental payments to government, if they exist in practice. In its comments on the draft assessment, the MSG highlighted that the updated version of the 2018-2020 Malawi EITI Report includes data on social and environmental expenditures for the material companies included in the scope of reporting. However, the comments don’t seem to elaborate on the classification of such payments as well as the comprehensiveness of the disclosed data.

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