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Cameron: transparency key component of G8 agenda

David Cameron made transparency a key feature of his speech  at the Davos World Economic Forum last week. According to Cameron, the UK will use its presidency of the G8 – and position as co-chair of the UN High Level Panel – to put “turbo-boosters under [the transparency] agenda”.  Cameron stated that the G8 would “push for more transparency on who owns companies, on who’s buying up land and for what purpose, on how governments spend their money, on how gas, oil and mining companies operate, on who is hiding stolen assets and how we recover and return them.”

This speech reaffirms Cameron’s position as strong supporter of extractive transparency, echoing his previous statements  in support of the amendments to the EU transparency and accounting directives.

The PWYP UK coalition congratulated Cameron in a letter, whilst urging him to ensure the amendments to these Directives – which would oblige all EU listed (and large non-listed) extractive companies to publish what they pay – be completed without delay.

PWYP Cameroon supports the struggle for local level transparency

This press release comes from PWYP Cameroon

According to the Cameroon Mining Code, a portion of mining royalties paid by mining companies to the State must return to the local population. However in the mining region of Figuil local residents have no information concerning these amounts, how they were spent nor even whether they were paid. CelPro is fighting for transparency at the local level so that citizens can benefit from their natural resources.

Officially the Cameroonian government is striving to become an EITI Compliant country. But at the local level, residents struggling to learn more about mining royalties are ignored. Worse, their representatives are constantly intimidated. The Cameroon PWYP Coalition supports CelPro Figuil’s efforts for more transparency in the extractive industries in northern Cameroon.

Almost eight years after joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in March 2005, Cameroon is still unable to pass validation and become EITI compliant. After two such failures – due among other reasons to an insufficient level of communication and strengthening of capacity, the Cameroon EITI Committee developed a new action plan in 2012.

While the EITI Committee calls on stakeholders and Cameroonians to fully participate in the EITI process, local mining communities are faced with the sad reality of exploitation set in an intimidating backdrop.

On 7 December 2012, the Cameroonian PWYP Coalition issued a press release demanding an end to the intimidation directed towards Norbert BOUBA, President of the CelPro Figuil based in northern Cameroon.

For several months, CelPro Figuil has been working to inform the local population on the mining revenues they are meant to receive from the extraction of marble (by ROCAGLIA) and cement (by CIMECAM). It has also sought to support the victims of mining activities in their claims.

Read the rest of this press release 

In brief

Albania published its second EITI report, which revealed that the oil and mining sector yield only marginal revenues

5% of DR Congo’s GDP comes from its extractive sector, according to its long awaited 2010 EITI report

Oxfam America filed a brief in support of Dodd-Frank 1504

Update from the MENA region


  • The province of Najaf saw its first EITI workshop, held on 19th January. More than 40 representatives from various sectors (government, press, civil society etc.) participated in the workshop to learn about the implementation of EITI in Iraq.


  • The Yemeni PWYP coalition TCEWI (Transparency Coalition for Extractive Industry Watch) received its official operating license from the Ministry of Social Affairs. The coalition will be endorsing its 2013 strategy later this week.

Crisis of legitimacy for accounting standard setters, says Publish What You Pay

Publish What You Pay, the global civil society coalition campaigning for greater openness in the oil, gas and mining sectors, today called on the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to respond to the legitimate demands of civil society by developing a financial disclosure standard which can fight tax dodging and corruption in resource rich countries around the world.

“Finite natural resources are being depleted every day”, said Publish What You Pay International Director Marinke van Riet. “Without adequate financial disclosure, citizens in resource rich countries lack the means to hold governments or companies to account for the exploitation of their own natural resources.”

Required or permitted in nearly 120 countries around the world, International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRSs) administered by the IASB have for many years been viewed by Publish What You Pay a key potential means to increase disclosure in the murky oil, gas and mining industries. With so many countries following standards set by the IASB, the hope has been that a truly global level playing field for disclosure in the extractive industries could be established.

That hope is now fading.

Speaking on the day the IASB held a public discussion forum on financial disclosure, Van Riet said: “While the IASB has committed to considering oil, gas and mining disclosures as part of a new set of financial reporting requirements for investigative, exploratory and developmental activities, it is hard not to be cynical about the prospects of anything positive resulting from the process.”

Read the rest of the press release

Mauritania - still EITI compliant?

Ba Aliou Coulibaly, the Technical Coordinator of the PWYP Coalition in Mauritania, explores how the country has progressed (and failed to progress) since becoming EITI compliant in February 2012. This article originally appeared (in French) on the Cridem site

After the many twists and turns that characterised the process of implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Mauritania was finally declared EITI compliant in February 2012.

Ten months after this badge of honour, observers are questioning the effectiveness of that compliance. They are wondering what real impact this label has made on promoting transparency and improving the living conditions of our populations, which is the ultimate aim of the initiative. In terms of respecting EITI principles, in such a short time, Mauritania has already started dragging its feet.

Indeed, after it was designated a compliant country, the first duty of Mauritania was to publish the late 2010 and 2011 reports in May and August 2012 respectively. These deadlines have long since passed but, to date, these reports have not been produced.

Implementation of the process, along with recruitment of consultants tasked with reconciling the figures, is the responsibility of the EITI National Committee. However, it must be said that the meetings of that body are infrequent, if not rare. This largely explains the apparent delay in finalising recruitment.

In terms of transparency, the scope of the EITI Mauritania reports remains very limited when compared with other countries such as Niger and Burkina Faso. The EITI reports only provide information on one part of the value chain, specifically what the companies pay to the State. Even in the best cases, this rarely exceeds 30 % of the transactions carried out by the companies.

Read the rest of this piece

Allard Prize

The Allard Prize for International Integrity is awarded to an individual, movement or organization that has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption, especially through promoting transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
Nominations for the inaugural prize of $100,000 will be accepted until February 20, 2013