As EITI Board Chair, I stand with regional and international leaders in condemning the military coup in Niger and the subsequent detention of President Mohamed Bazoum.
The military intervention in Niger follows a concerning trend in the region, where increasing instability poses a threat to fragile democratic institutions and progress on accountable governance.
Niger is a significant producer of uranium and also produces gold and oil, which together accounted for nearly half its total export revenues in 2020. As a member of the EITI, Niger has been making strides in promoting transparency in its extractive sector. At the end of 2022, it published its second EITI Report since rejoining the EITI in 2020, as well as thematic studies on artisanal and small scale mining, subnational transfers, and beneficial ownership.
Current developments in Niger may well hinder progress in EITI implementation. Niger is currently undergoing Validation, which assesses progress in meeting the EITI Standard. This process relies on the commitment and active involvement of the government, civil society, and companies to be effective. A military takeover now poses challenges in maintaining momentum towards greater transparency and accountability in the country’s extractive industries and will impede progress with Validation.
We remind those who have assumed power through illegal means that the EITI requires effective multi-stakeholder oversight, including a functioning multi-stakeholder group with participation from the government, companies, and civil society. To sustain this process, we call for the immediate restoration of civilian rule supported by inclusive governance and the safeguarding of civic space. These measures are essential to uphold the principles of transparency and accountability for which the EITI stands.