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In Brief

Photo by Piero Fissore, available from Flickr under a creative commons license

  • Check out the winners of the EITI photo competition!
  • For all you Spanish speakers out there, why not explore the new web project by our Latin America coalition, RLIE?
  • Congratulations to France, who has recently joined the Open Government Partnership!

Who profits from Niger’s extractive industry?

Photo by Jordi Boixareu available on Flickr under a Creative Commons license

OSIWA, the Open Societies Institute for West Africa, has launched a report entitled Revenues from Niger’s extractive industries: who profits from them? The report was commissioned to identify who was benefiting from Niger’s natural resources, particularly in light of the country’s revised 2006 mining code and 2010 constitution.

The report found that, in terms of transparency and accountability, a good deal more could be done.  In accordance with the 2010 mining constitution, 15 % of revenues from the extractive industries should be allocated to local municipalities. Yet the report found that some municipal authorities did not receive their allocated funds for almost two years. In their work, ROTAB – the PWYP coalition in Niger – found that some municipal authorities never received their revenues at all.

OSIWA also criticised the opacity that has surrounded the contract renegotiations between AREVA and the Nigerien government – the constitution and mining code state that these negotiations should be conducted transparently.

The report outlined a series of recommendations, notably that the Niger government and mining companies should ensure that the extractives generate jobs for local Nigeriens. OSIWA also called on the state not to ‘grant tax incentives to AREVA on taxable revenue that would otherwise facilitate community development.’

OSIWA’s report is available (in French) here.

What needs to be done in order for Ugandans to benefit from their oil?

Uganda is still in the process of gearing up for oil production. This article, by Rukiya Makuma from Global Rights Alert, tells us how the country can prepare to ensure that citizens benefit from Uganda’s natural resources.

Since the discovery of commercially viable oil and gas reserves in 2006, there has been a lot of anticipation about the revenues and benefits that will accrue. The feeling has been widely shared across the country with many people saying the revenues should be shared evenly. So far, 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves have been confirmed in Uganda; they are expected to yield at least $2b per year for 30 years once oil production commences.

In addition to transforming the economy and transforming the lives of people by providing employment opportunities at the different stages of oil production, revenues from oil are also expected to drive Uganda’s GDP growth in the years to come.

In order to achieve this and make Uganda’s oil a success story there has been a strong call on the Government to ensure good governance in the smooth running of the sector. There have also been numerous campaigns calling on the Government to sign up to and become a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). EITI is an initiative that requires countries to publish the payments they receive from extractive companies and that obliges companies operating in those countries also to declare the payments they make to the respective host governments. This is to minimize opportunities for corruption in the extractive sector, a practice to which several other countries have fallen prey…

Read the rest of the blog here

EITI – A Platform for Progress

The EITI is reviewing its country assessment and validation criteria and is interested in your opinion on selected issues – six in total. Find out about the background and questions here.

Dyveke Rogan is leading the way and invites you as a relevant stakeholder to send your valuable feedback to her directly (drogan@eiti.org) by 2 May 2014. All submissions will be published on the EITI website unless otherwise indicated. Feel free to answer all questions or just a selection and check out the submissions already published online.

Kurdistan Regional Government exempt from participating in EITI

This photo by Jason@Dynamicmoment is available on Flickr under a Creative Commons License

Over the past few years, the EITI process in Iraq has been affected by disputes between the central government and the Kurdistan Regional Government. Due to disagreement over the legitimacy of production sharing agreements in Kurdistan, KRG has not shared its revenue data with the EITI multi-stakeholder group. As a result, rather than include figures that were estimates, the Iraqi EITI applied to the Implementation Committee of the EITI to ask that KRG numbers be exempt from EITI reporting. Below is the reaction of PWYP’s affiliated coalition in Iraq to this development.

“The PWYP affiliated coalition, the Iraqi Transparency Alliance for Extractive Industries (ITAEI) supports the request submitted by the Iraqi EITI - and approved by the Implementation Committee of the EITI – for data from the Kurdistan regional government to be exempt from EITI reporting. So far, the political conflict occurring between the central government of Iraq and the KRG has prevented data from the KRG from reaching the IEITI multi stake holder group.

However, the coalition would like stress its demand that this exemption only be applied for a set period of time and that it does not extend beyond the 2013 EITI report. The ultimate goal of the EITI process in Iraq should always remain to promote transparency and disclosure of all revenues covering the whole of Iraq.”

ITAEI believes that it is crucial for EITI reports to contain data from the whole of Iraq. On February 25th, members of the coalition in Kurdistan met with parliamentarians, civil society and the media from the region to stress the important role the Kurdistan Regional Government has to play to ensure a successful implementation of EITI. This was part of an ongoing advocacy campaign by the coalition to push the Kurdistan Regional Government to share its extractive data.

For more on Iraq and EITI, read our newsletter special from last month!

Call for nominations - Civil society representative for EITI Board

Photo by miuenski miuenski, available from Flickr under a creative commons license

Civil society is looking for a representative to serve as a full-time member to the EITI International Board.

The deadline for applications is May 9 and the board member is expected to join a CSO retreat in Paris from May 12-15. Please send a CV and cover letter to info@publishwhatyoupay.org, indicating how you are suitable for the role – you will find a list of the criteria on our website. The PWYP Global Steering Committee will select the best candidate.

Women are particularly encouraged to apply.

Please note that candidate's organisations need to be able to provide funding to support travel and accommodation costs relating to attendance of the three EITI board meetings a year.