AFIC welcomes Uganda’s admission as an EITI implementing country

The EITI Board has approved Uganda’s application to join the EITI as of 12th August 2020. This makes Uganda the EITI’s 54th member country and the 26th in Africa. Uganda’s candidature application was received by the EITI Secretariat on 13 July 2020. Uganda’s candidature application form, together with supporting documentation, was approved by the MSG on 2 July 2020.

In a public statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development on 21st February 2019, Cabinet approved Uganda to join Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative. This was informed by the appreciation of the values that EITI promotes with regards to disclosure of information about the whole extractives governance chain.

The ministry indicated that the EITI initiative that emphasizes transparency has the potential to strengthen the government’s efforts in ensuring overall transparency in the sector.

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources. Guided by the belief that a country’s natural resources belong to its citizens, the EITI has established a global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas, and mineral resources.

The EITI Standard requires the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain from the point of extraction, to how revenues make their way through the government, and how they benefit the public. By doing so, the EITI seeks to strengthen public and corporate governance, promote understanding of natural resource management, and provide the data to inform reforms for greater transparency and accountability in the extractives sector. In each of the 54 implementing countries, the EITI is supported by a coalition of government, companies, and civil society.

The global promotion of transparency for the extractive sector-oil, gas, and mining-has become increasingly accepted as an appropriate solution to weaknesses in governance in resource-rich developing nations.  If extractive firms disclose publicly their payments to governments, citizens will be able to hold governments accountable. The initiative proposes that extractive sector firms should report all taxes and fees paid to governments. Governments, likewise, should publish their income from resource development. These reports would be audited and made publicly available, allowing citizens to scrutinize the major source of income flowing into the country’s treasury. The comparison and reconciliation of these accounts would shine a light on discrepancies, and discourage misappropriation of funds.

The initiative requires action by governments, business, and civil society groups and promotes multi-stakeholder consultations among them. Ideally, civil society would mobilize and demand reform in response to evidence of corruption and poor management. Enhanced transparency in the management of natural resources may facilitate the achievement of two goals. The first-order goals are substantive ones and have to do with better management of a high-value natural resource, particularly the income streams derived from it. Transparency will lead to less corruption, more equitable distribution of the revenues, less waste, and fraud, more economic development, and less violent conflict.

The second-order goals are both procedural and normative. The processes set in motion by disclosure of natural resource sector revenue include the mobilization and empowerment of civil society, which can use the information disclosed to hold both governments and corporations accountable.

“revenue transparency will also help civil society groups to work towards a democratic debate over the effective use and allocation of resource revenues and public finance in order to meet development objectives, improve public services, and redistribute income.” PWYP Coalition

By facilitating the ability of the powerless to hold powerful actors accountable, the release of information enhances trust and legitimacy in ways that improve relationships between civil society, the private sector, and governments.

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