The EITI is the abbreviation for Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. The EITI is the global standard for promoting transparency and accountability in counties rich in oil, gas and mineral resources. The initiative emerged as a means to mitigate the outcomes of low per capita growth, slow progress on human development, and social and political instability common to resources rich developing countries.
EITI is a government led initiative with active support of companies, civil society groups, investors and international organizations. The initiative provides a platform for stakeholders (government, industry, civil society organizations) to systematically review, assess, and report on what is being paid by companies and received by governments from extractive industry operations.
his is accomplished through the establishment of an EITI multistakeholder steering committee or group (MSG) that is led by government. Key functions of the MSG include: setting strategic direction of the initiative, defining the reporting scope of the initiative in each country, developing the national EITI work plan, and conducting the reconciliation process.
The EITI has evolved from its beginnings as a narrow set of rules focused on revenue collection into an international standard covering the wider governance of extractive resources. It now encompasses beneficial ownership disclosure, contract transparency, the integration of the EITI into government systems and transparency in commodity trading. The focus of EITI Reports has moved from compiling data to building systems for open data and making recommendations for reforms to improve the extractive sector governance more generally.
The impact of the EITI is most evident when governments decide to implement the recommendations that have emerged from EITI reporting. In some countries, EITI Reports have been a useful tool highlighting weaknesses in government systems. In other cases, the report recommendations have been aimed at addressing such weaknesses and improving sector management, thus making an important contribution to policy reform and change.
Launch of EITI
The EITI is often thought to have been launched in 2002. It is true that the then UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair, outlined the idea of the EITI in a speech intended for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in September 2002. However, the problematic relationship between Prime Minister Blair and President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, meant that the British Prime Minister never actually delivered his prepared remarks as intended.