sharing in governance of extractive industries
Since 2018, the Regional Resource Governance in West Africa (ReGo) project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ), has been strengthening the transparent and sustainable management of local development funds in collaboration with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in Côte d'Ivoire. The initial successes of the project could lead to a model approach for other countries.
According to the Ivorian Mining Law of 2014, mining companies must pay 0.5% of their turnover into local development funds managed by local mining development committees, so-called Comités de Développement Local Minier (CDLMs). The CDMLs are chaired by the prefect of the respective region and include representatives of all strata of the population. Until 2018, however, neither the impacts nor the expenditure of the respective development funds were audited or measured.
"The support provided by GIZ-ReGo to the CDLMs is of paramount importance to EITI in Côte d'Ivoire and is necessary to ensure that the quality of information on sub-national payments meets the EITI requirements," says Julien Tingain, Technical Director of EITI in Côte d'Ivoire, during an interview with GIZ-ReGo.
To ensure sustainable and transparent management of the funds, the GIZ-ReGo project follows a multi-stakeholder approach. Thus, in collaboration with the Ivorian EITI National Secretariat (EITI-CI), the project supports the publication of CDLM expenditures required by the 2016 EITI standard. The EITI requires the disclosure of information on social expenditures and the impact of the extractives sector on the economy to help key stakeholders to assess whether the extractives sector contributes to desirable socio-economic outcomes. Since April 2018, the GIZ-ReGo project together with experts of EITI-CI has sensitised and trained ten CDLMs with over 200 representatives of the respective mining communities with the aim of enabling them to publish their expenditures in accordance with the EITI standard.
"This is useful and necessary and makes our work easier, as the various payments can be followed by everyone," explains Koné Roger, Regional Director of the Ivorian Ministry of Mines in Bagoué, to a journalist of the Agence Ivorienne de Presse (AIP) during a training organised by Giz-ReGo and EITI-CI in Tengrela, a small town on the border with Mali.
In addition, a professional auditor conducted training courses in accounting and sustainable fund management for technical staff of the respective CDLMs. Over the past month, three CDLMs have been supported in EITI reporting on site.
The next step will be to work with the Ministry of Mines and EITI-CI to draw up a binding guideline for the management of funds (including accounting standards, standards for internal and external audits) by the CDLMs.
The initial success of the project can already be seen in the actions taken by the CDLMs themselves. For example, two CDLMs have decided to hire a professional accountant to support their work.
Furthermore, the GIZ-ReGo project, in cooperation with Ivorian civil society organisations, is strengthening the capacity of the population to audit the published reports on the social expenditures of the CDLMs. This equips the citizens to demand accountability from representatives of the CDLMs if funds are misused. To this end, three local subsidies with civil society organisations were concluded.
To complete this approach, most recently, the GIZ-ReGo project also supported the development of a national standard on the elaboration of local development plans, the so-called "Plan de développement Locale" (PDLM). The standard will be ratified by the government next month. Approximately 500,000 citizens could potentially benefit from the standardisation of local development plans.
With this innovative and inclusive multi-stakeholder approach, the GIZ-ReGo project promotes a transparent and sustainable use of the funds on both the revenue and expenditure sides.
Author: Stefanie Heerwig
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