The President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, reiterated the French support of the EITI during his visit to Niger on 27 March. At an EITI roundtable meeting, Niger and France confirmed their commitment to the EITI criteria for transparency as a guiding principle for their long term trade relations. At the roundtable (reported by AFP) EITI Chair Peter Eigen underlined how the meeting displayed the importance of the multi-stakeholder partnerships that make the EITI work, bringing together government,
On 14 March the Prime Minister of Niger, Mr. Brigi Rafini, was clear in a meeting my colleague Dylan Gélard and I had with him about the government’s intention to work towards rejoining the EITI.
Niger is one of the world’s poorest countries. It faces important challenges. It has the world’s fastest demographic growth, now standing at probably just below 20 million and doubling every 18 years, with something like 49 % of the population below the age of 15. On top of its domestic challenges,
It is with regret that we have received the decision from the Government of Niger announcing their withdrawal from the EITI.
The EITI Chair, Fredrik Reinfeldt, commented:
“This is an unfortunate decision, because Niger has made significant progress using the EITI to improve its mineral governance. We hope that the government of Niger will soon recommit to implement the EITI and that the EITI in the future can support further reforms to improve transparency and accountability in the sector.”
With ten years’ experience, EITI Niger can now leverage reforms to improve the accountability of its extractives governance.
As Niger takes stock of the impact of the past decade of EITI implementation, it has the opportunity to assess whether the EITI is meeting the public’s demands for information. Rather than ever-expanding EITI Reports, there is an opportunity to open up government systems to ensure that the information most in demand is available regularly and routinely.