EITI Approves Ethiopian Candidacy

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Addis Ababa, 20 March 2017 (WIC) - The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global coalition of governments, companies and civil society seeking for openness and accountability in the management of natural resource revenues, has approved the candidacy of Ethiopia to be its member.
The International Board of the Initiative, which boasts to have 25 compliant countries and 16 candidate countries, announced its decision after the completion of its two days meeting held in Oslo, Norway, between March 18 and 19, 2014.
Ethiopia’s candidacy will make it the 17th in the waiting list to be a full member of the Initiative. The nation, according to the accepted norms of the Initiative, will have three years to comply with the standards of disclosure, named the EITI Standard.
Ethiopia’s candidacy was opposed by international human right organisations, including the Human Right Watch (HRW), which were mentioning the suppression of civil societies after the ratification of the Charities & Societies Proclamation of 2009 as a major hindrance to the envisioned transparency initiative. The EITI, in its press release issued today, also notes that ensuring civil society engagement is important in the Ethiopian effort to be a full member.
But, Clare Short, chair of the Board of EITI, downplayed the opposition by the international human rights organisations saying, “the decision shows that the [International] Board was convinced by the government’s commitment to the EITI principles.”
Ethiopian candidacy is also supported by the World Bank Group, whose manager for Gas, Oil and Mining Unit of the Sustainable Energy Department, Paulo de Sa, applauded the nation’s effort “in taking a step to engage on transparency issues.”
The decision of the Board was also assisted by Tolosa Shagi’s, minister of Mines, affirmation that his “government is committed to work with civil societies to ensure their engagement in the Ethiopian EITI.”
The EITI was launched in the global stage in 2002 by former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair, at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Addis Fortune)