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“A lucid dream” - film on PWYP Niger reaches semi-final of EITI competition!

A lucid dream charts the story of our members in Niger as they fight for natural resources to benefit all the citizens in the country. The video – produced by Fat Rat Films – has reached the semi-final of the EITI competition! Please watch – and vote for – the film. The winning film of the competition will be broadcast at the EITI Global Conference in Sydney next May. Please vote for the film so that the story of our campaign can be shared far and wide! (If you are so inclined, it is possible to vote for the film on a daily basis…)

In brief

The International Institute for Environment and Development has published a study focussing on Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and how the EITI could improve.

Oxfam America and WACAM have released this excellent video - Financial transparency in Ghana: What are big oil companies hiding?

GOXI photo competition open until 14 April

Nominations for the EITI Board are open!

The nominations for civil society representatives on the EITI International Board are now open.  The deadline for nominations is 7 April and you can find more information on how to apply here.

Selected candidates will be announced on 30th April, with the first EITI Board meeting taking place at the end of May in Sydney.  Candidates will be selected by an independent nominations committee.

Civil society representatives on the EITI board ensure that the views and concerns of civil society globally regarding the initiative are well represented and defended. The EITI Board is charged with providing strategic direction and overseeing the initiative at an international level. Its representatives come from three constituencies – governments, companies and civil society. Since 2011, it has been chaired by Clare Short.

We would like to encourage people to apply and spread the word!

Welcoming a new coalition – PWYP Togo!

Publish What You Pay Togo was officially launched in Lomé on the 13th March. Around 80 people attended the event, including representatives from the private sector, civil society and PWYP’s Global Steering Committee.

Togo has various natural resources, such as diamonds, gold and limestone and is one of the world’s leading producers of phosphates.  It joined EITI in 2010 as a candidate country, and recently published its second EITI report. You can read more about the launch (in French) here

Cameron letter to PWYP

UK Prime Minister David Cameron recently sent a letter to Publish What You Pay, discussing the UK's position on extractive transparency within the context of the EITI, the G8 and the EU. 

In it, he stated,

The UK government has already taken the initiative in European negotiations to develop new reporting requirements working to ensure that there are comparable regimes in the USA and across Europe. We know this will make it easier for companies listed on both sides of the Atlantic to comply. I will work with my G8 colleagues to explore further opportunities to level the playing field for business and provide useful information to citizens round the world. For that reason, our discussions with other G8 countries will also explore what we can do to make data open and accessible to citizens, including using technology and building capacity for users.

He continued,

I am grateful for the important role that both private sector and civil society networks like Publish What You Pay have played to raise global standards of transparency. I am determined to continue these efforts. I want this G8 to drive greater transparency around the globe so that revenues from oil, gas and mining can help developing countries forge a path to sustainable growth, instead of fuelling conflict and corruption

You can read the full letter on our site 

EITI Global Conference: Soon full!

PWYPers are invited to join the conference in Sydney 23-24 May. We hope many of you will be able to join the discussions on how to improve transparency with the new EITI Standard. But space is limited and 600 have already registered – register now to take part in shaping the future of EITI.

EITI Board decisions - in brief

Mauritania was suspended for missing its deadline for the 2010 EITI Report.

Sierra Leone’s validation report contained several problems which prevented it from reaching Compliant Status – it has been temporarily suspended while it remedies these.

Yemen was suspended for failing to publish its reports for 2008 and 2009.

Gabon delisted from EITI

Gabon has been delisted from the EITI process, a decision taken by the EITI International Board on 26th February. Gabon stated its intention to join the initiative back in 2004, officially becoming an EITI candidate country in 2007.

However, progress was slow and the government’s genuine commitment uncertain.

Gabon has proven a difficult environment for our activists to operate in, as they have frequently found themselves victims of intimidation and threats for their work on transparency.

PWYP Gabon is calling on the government to reapply to EITI and make all the efforts necessary to genuinely improve the transparency of the extractive sector in the country. They also called for the publication of contracts in a government journal.

For more information, view PWYP Gabon’s press release (in French) or visit their EITI page.

Congo B gains compliant status

Gabon’s neighbour Congo Brazzaville, however, fared better as it became an EITI compliant country. 

PWYP Congo welcomed this decision, acknowledging the government’s efforts in this development towards increased transparency. The coalition also reminded of the fact that being EITI compliant was alone not enough. This new status must prove a direct link to – and have a direct impact on – reducing poverty and improving the lives of Congolese citizens. 

Now that the government has proven itself on revenue transparency, the coalition called on it to promote transparency along other aspects of the value chain – such as on government spending.

You can find out more by reading PWYP Congo B’s press release  (in French) or visiting their EITI page.

Cameroon publishes Fourth Reconciliation Report

Although it had been delayed, last month Cameroon published its fourth Reconciliation Report. This report contains data on the payments extractive companies made to the government in 2009 and 2010, and the payments the government received from said companies.

PWYP Cameroon noted that the figures were disaggregated – which offers more potential for accountability than if data is aggregated. However, the coalition also noted that there is not enough traceability when it comes to subnational payments, destined for councils and local communities. (Indeed, PWYP Cameroon has already worked on this issue. Visit our site to discover more about its work on subnational payments in the region of Figuil).

PWYP Cameroon called for future reconciliation reports to be published on an annual basis (this one came three years after the latest report) and for an EITI law to be established, in order to give the initiative a legal basis.

You can also read PWYP Cameroon’s statement in full.