On 25 October 2017, the EITI Board came to the following decision on Zambia’s status:
Following the conclusion of Zambia’s Validation, the EITI Board concludes that Zambia has made meaningful progress overall in implementing the EITI Standard.
The Board congratulates the Government of Zambia and national EITI stakeholders on the progress made in improving transparency and accountability in the extractive industries by providing timely and reliable information to the public, including civil society, media and affected communities. EITI has provided valuable information along the value chain, identified gaps and opportunities for strengthening monitoring of production, and improved the public understanding of the revenues generated from oil, gas and mining activities. This work is critical to tackling corruption and addressing tax evasion. The Board encourages the Government of Zambia to increase its leadership of the EITI as a tool to help identify gaps in the way the sector is managed and help identify solutions together with industry and civil society. This can help strengthen the links between Zambia EITI and ongoing government reforms.
After eight years of producing reconciliation reports, Zambia EITI is starting to move from focusing on the production of reconciliation reports to informing and shaping the policy dialogue in Zambia's mining sector. Consultations with stakeholders during Validation have demonstrated that there is a need to focus beyond production of EITI Reports to become a more active proponent of transparency and improved sector governance. This can be done by facilitating the use and analysis of available extractive sector data and coordinating policy discussions between the relevant stakeholders in government, industry and civil society.
The Board takes note of recent efforts by Zambia EITI to place beneficial ownership transparency on the government’s agenda, by participating in the beneficial ownership pilot and seeking to understand how to include provisions related to beneficial ownership disclosure in ongoing reforms.
The Board recognises Zambia’s achievement of satisfactory progress on requirements of the EITI Standard regarding the engagement of government, industry and civil society (1.1, 1.2 and 1.3), MSG governance (1.4), the EITI work plan (1.5), legal and fiscal framework (2.1), license register (2.3), exploration and export data (3.1 and 3.3), comprehensive disclosure of revenues (4.1), direct subnational payments (4.6), disaggregation, timeliness and quality of data (4.7, 4.8 and 4.9), public debate (7.1) and documenting outcomes and impact of implementation (7.4).
In an increasingly challenging environment for minerals-dependent countries like Zambia, Validation has helped highlight further opportunities for Zambia EITI to contribute to more informed policy and public debate, for example, on issues such as tax evasion and transfer pricing and oversight of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. The Board notes that continuous and sustained engagement by stakeholders, and particularly high-level support by the government, is essential going forward.
Validation has further highlighted opportunities to make information on licensing more accessible. The Board encourages Zambia to progress their efforts to ensure that information on the licensing system is disclosed in a comprehensive and regular manner, building on ongoing work in the mining cadastre.
Through the regular engagement with the key stakeholders providing, collecting and verifying extractives data, Zambia EITI has the potential to support the government and industry in moving towards routine disclosures of the data currently provided in EITI Reports. This would help ‘mainstream’ extractives transparency and EITI reporting.
The Board has determined that Zambia will have 18 months to carry out corrective actions regarding the requirements relating to license allocations (2.2), clarity on the government policy on contract disclosure (2.4), production data (3.2), and follow-up on recommendations (7.3). The Board is encouraged by the progress that has been made to date, and urges the Government of Zambia to continue using the EITI process to build trust among stakeholders and ensure that there is reliable information available to help inform public debate and policy discussions related to the extractive sector.