According to the Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources, Abdul Razak, who chairs the EITI-Mozambique Coordinating Committee, the national committee is working on the matter internally, and will later put forward a concrete proposal.
Mozambique’s concern arises from the fact that the assessment of countries is unilateral. The countries applying for EITI membership have no opportunity to defend themselves against unfavourable findings by the Oslo-based EITI International Committee.
Razak believed that last year’s assessment of Mozambique, which led to the rejection of its application to be considered as EITI-compliant, had been unfair in some points.
“Of the 18 assessment indicators, the International Committee concluded that Mozambique had not complied with 12 of them, and Mozambique does not agree”, said Razak. “In some cases, the assessment was not fair because the technical and methodological indications of the committee were followed to the letter”.
Razak was speaking on Friday in the central city of Quelimane, during the launch of Mozambique’s second EITI report, detailing payments which mining and hydrocarbon companies say their have paid to the government, and the amounts the government says it has received. The report covers the 2009 financial year.
“We have worked very hard on this second report”, said Razak. “We have made improvements in order to meet the recommendations, and we believe there will no longer be any grounds for regarding the country as non-compliant”.
But he believed the assessment should be “more interactive and participatory”, perhaps along the lines of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). In the APRM, an independent committee assesses the country, and then the country assessed is asked to make its comments.
“Assessment in EITI should also work like this”, argued Razak. “We should have the opportunity to make our comments, and to present our arguments. It should not be a unilateral procedure”.
Mozambique’s application to join EITI dates back to 2009. It has undertaken a range of activities necessary for becoming a full member of the Initiative, including setting up a Coordinating Committee on which representatives of the government, private business and civil society sit.
Despite the rejection of Mozambique’s first EITI report last year, the International Committee has not sent the country back to square one. It considered that the country has made considerable progress and can maintain its candidate status until 15 February 2013.
To date there are only 13 countries that have met the conditions for becoming full EITI members. The African counties in this group are Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Mali, Mauretania, Liberia and Central African Republic. Mozambique is one of 20 countries with candidate status.Post published in: Africa News