Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
Photo: UGEITI Multi-Stakeholder Group Members
EITI has been applauded internationally as an important initiative that can enhance transparency and accountability in Extractives. This initiative is of great relevancy to Uganda which is at a critical state of developing its petroleum and mineral resources. The country committed itself in the National Oil and Gas policy 2008 and the Oil Revenue Management Policy of 2012, to join and implement EITI initiative. The actual process of joining the EITI kicked off early 2019 by government making a public declaration of intention, appointing a national coordinator and constituting a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) that will oversee the EITI accession process and EITI implementation. For the process and the initiative to be successful, it requires support and participation of various stakeholders. However, there is still a number of challenges that may limit the impact of the initiative. First, there is limited information on extractives and the role of various stakeholders including communities in the implementation of EITI. There is also limited capacity to analyse reports from government and extractive companies and make useful contribution to the process among other challenges.
The Advocates Coalition for Development and Environment (ACODE) has taken up the challenge by initiating several interventions to support EITI implementation. The interventions are aimed at creating and deepening the understanding of EITI amongst citizen groups for meaningful participation. The interventions are also geared towards enhancing coordination of efforts in shaping the EITI processes for Uganda. A number of activities will be undertaken under these interventions; hosting the Civil Society Coalition on oil and gas (CSCO) and supporting coordination of civil society interventions, supporting capacity building of Uganda Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group (UGEITI MSG), civil society, sub-national stakeholders, and undertaking research and advocacy to inform legislative reforms that support implementation of EITI.
What is EITI?
EITI is the global standard for the good governance 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 contracts and licenses, production, revenue collection and allocation, social and economic spending, until the eventual point of public benefit. This information is then widely disseminated to inform public debate and generate recommendations which are then followed up for the benefit, improvement and development of the national extractive sector.
On 12th August 2020, Uganda was officially welcomed into the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) group of countries by Helen Clark, the EITI Board Chair and former Prime Minister of New Zealand. Uganda is the 54th country to become an EITI member, and the 26th from the African continent.
Journey to membership
In early 2019, following a Cabinet decision, the Minister of Finance announced the government's commitment to join the EITI. He then appointed Mr. Moses Kaggwa, the acting Director of Economic Affairs in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, to spearhead the effort and manage the process. Mr Kaggwa was appointed the Chairperson of the Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG), a 26-person Committee that is tasked with the oversight of EITI implementation in Uganda. The MSG comprises representation from the three main constituencies involved in the extractive sector - government, industry, and civil society.
Under the guidance of the MSG, Uganda prepared and submitted its candidature application to the International Secretariat on 13th July 2020. One month later, the application was approved.
What are the benefits of Uganda joining EITI?
As an EITI member, Uganda will adhere to and implement the EITI Standard which promotes a more open and accountable form of extractive sector management. Membership of EITI will improve the investment climate and strengthen tax collection. It will build trust among sector stakeholders by facilitating honest and frank discussions on the problems and challenges within the sector. It will also strengthen revenue management and accountability.
How is EITI being implemented in Uganda?
The UGEITI MSG has prepared a two-year costed work plan which it is rolling out as part of EITI implementation. This work plan defines the activities that the MSG will undertake in order to prepare, publish and disseminate Uganda's first EITI report. The MSG is supported in its work by a National Secretariat, which is responsible for the operational activities of the Uganda Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (UGEITI).
The MSG now has 18 months (until February 2022) to publish information on the sector in a national report, and then submit to a 'validation' of these disclosures by the International EITI Board. Once this validation is approved, Uganda will then become a full member of EITI, and continue working to ensure that this membership is maintained