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Stakeholders discuss Ethiopia’s extractive industry

Adama – Ethiopia’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EEITI) national secretariat brought together national stakeholders for a conference on 24-25 December 2014, on the contribution of the mining sector to Ethiopia’s economy as well as familiarizing them on the EITI process.

The national secretariat is hosted by the Ministry of Mines and Ethiopia has also set up an EEITI multi-stakeholder national steering committee, comprising the government, private sector, and CSOs.

The meeting raised awareness among federal and regional relevant personnel of the key implementing partners with regards to federal and regional mining, environmental protection, audit, finance and economic development and Inland Revenue bureau on EITI process. The conference also examined licensing and administration of minerals and petroleum; revenue management; environmental protection; supporting and coordinating artisanal mining; natural resource management and CSO concerns; as well as value chains and marketing.

Nigeria, which has been compliant (meeting all requirements in the EITI standard) since 2011, was represented by the national EITI executive manager who shared experience on the EITI process and also that country’s challenges and success in implementing the EITI.

Countries meeting the EITI Standard disclose taxes and all payments made to the government by gas, oil and mining companies allowing for an effective multi-stakeholder oversight of the use of the country’s natural resource; with the minorities and indigenous recognized as stakeholders in the extractive industry and their rights of safeguarded.

Ethiopia’s candidacy was accepted by the EITI in 2014 and the country says it is working on the compliance process to meet the EITI Standard and become a member by 2017.

Ethiopia earned USD 540.5 million in 2014 from the export of gold, tantalum and gemstones; however, the contribution of the mining industry to the GDP remains below 2%. The sector’s contribution to job creation is growing. In 2010, 2000 jobs were created in the sector and this figure has shot up to 50,000 in 2013. In 1991, Ethiopia legalized the artisanal mining sector, which now provides livelihood for more than five million people.

“The EITI is helping to improve governance by creating a platform for open discussion about the management of the natural resource among important government organizations and local communities,” said Mining Minister and EEITI National Steering Committee Chair Tolessa Shagi.

Underlining the importance of good governance and strong long-term development planning, UNDP Ethiopia Resident Representative Eugene Owusu said “Countries can avoid the pitfalls of the resource curse, and provide quality services, such as water, sanitation, education and healthcare to their citizens

UNDP is working with the Government of Ethiopia on two-year program costing over half a million US dollars that promotes inclusive growth through strengthening accountability and transparency in the extractive sector. This initiative, which falls under UNDP Ethiopia’s Democratic Governance & Capacity Development intervention, complements UNDP’s global work around the extractive sector, which focuses on sustainable and equitable management of the sector to promote human development.

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