The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Secretariat ought to take the lead in growing intervention mechanisms that guarantee a robust civil society illustration within the multi-stakeholder teams, to allow actual public participation and procure native legitimacy of the Initiative:

This may be achieved via actively figuring out and partnering with related grassroot civil society organisations that work straight with mining-affected communities.

Implementing international locations ought to work extra collaboratively with the EITI to analyze any reported income discrepancies highlighted within the country-specific EITI reporting:

This may be enforced by implementing international locations in alignment with their guiding ideas of regulatory our bodies and the nationwide EITI MSG within the effort to combat towards corruption and guarantee native possession of the EITI course of.


The Extractives Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), based in 2003, was fashioned as a instrument to enhance and promote transparency within the oil and fuel, and mining sectors, respectively. It was primarily designed to beat the problem of revenues within the extractive industries being diverted for unproductive functions and subsequently not being correctly accounted for.

An absence of transparency implies that one of many major and needed circumstances for accountability can’t be met. Within the absence of accountability, corruption proliferates, inserting wealth within the fingers of the ruling elite on the expense of broad-based improvement. Whereas transparency is critical, it’s not enough for actual accountability. Nonetheless, it’s a important first step. The EITI has turn out to be the worldwide normal for transparency within the extractives sector. Nonetheless, debate over its success continues.

This briefing examines the important thing contributing elements which have undermined the potential worth of the EITI, and units out suggestions on how the initiative might be utilised to meaningfully enhance transparency and accountability, notably in mineral rich however fragile mining contexts. With the 27th annual Investing in African Mining Indaba on the horizon, it’s important to evaluate how mining codes and worldwide agreements such because the EITI can acquire extra traction and influence on the bottom.

Contextualising the useful resource curse and establishments curse

The EITI promotes the emergence of worldwide transparency and useful resource governance initiatives developed to partially reverse the useful resource curse however past that, it seeks to deal with poor governance and grand corruption in mineral-wealthy international locations.[1]

Essentially, the useful resource curse is the hypothesised destructive influence of a rustic’s pure useful resource wealth on its financial, social, or political wellbeing.[2] Many students have contributed to the educational literature unpacking the character of this relationship between mineral extraction and financial progress in resource-rich international locations, each from financial and political views.

Lease-seeking and patronage have been recognized as the important thing mechanisms in how the useful resource curse operates.[3] Normal political economic system fashions keep that useful resource rents accrue to elites, who then distribute these rents to their political supporters (patronage).

These dynamics have subsequently turn out to be important in understanding the roots of the useful resource curse.[4] Lease-seeking limits the incentives for ruling elites to broaden the tax base by diversifying the economic system and respecting property rights. And not using a broad tax base with which to carry the federal government to account, accountability is eroded.[5] Consequently, corruption – rooted in rent-seeking conduct and creation of patronage pathways – turns into entrenched, and perpetuates underdevelopment for a lot of resource-rich African international locations.[6]

By 2006, a relative consensus had developed within the literature that the standard of a rustic’s establishments was a key mediating variable accounting for why some useful resource rich international locations have thrived however most have floundered. If a rustic fails to construct sturdy establishments earlier than pure useful resource wealth arrives, it’s prone to endure the useful resource curse.

Early scholarship on the topic – of the existence of an establishments curse – contends that when establishments are poorly managed, hire appropriation dominates the political settlement, which diminishes transparency. In flip, this heightens bureaucratic corruption and results in weak safety of property and residents’ rights.[7] The event of strong political establishments is, subsequently, a important part of guaranteeing accountability and that resource-rich international locations profit extra broadly and sustainably from their mineral wealth.[8]

The institution of the EITI

Launched in 2003, the EITI was initially proposed as British international coverage beneath then-Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Worldwide Improvement ministry, on the World Summit on Sustainable Improvement in 2002. It was a key a part of the worldwide consensus to steer the extractive industries to turn out to be extra clear and promote higher governance by disclosure.[9] The EITI is a voluntary international normal that promotes the open and accountable administration of oil, fuel and mineral assets.[10]

Accession to the EITI is a government-led course of that encourages governments to affix the Initiative on a voluntary foundation[11] by following the EITI normal that “requires the disclosure of knowledge alongside the extractive trade worth chain from the extraction, to how revenues make their manner via the federal government, and the way they profit the general public.”[12]

The EITI is applied by 55 international locations at current and is supported by governments, firms, and civil society, respectively. The EITI board consists of 20 members who’re liable for offering oversight to the collaborating international locations and for evaluating international locations’ efficiency in reaching the necessities of the EITI normal.[13]

In Africa, the EITI has 26 member international locations and it focuses on disclosing information, straightening governance and combating corruption.[14] As well as, it goals to prioritise points associated to home useful resource mobilisation from extractives, licensing, useful possession, state-owned enterprises and commodity buying and selling transparency.[15]

The EITI Multi-Stakeholder Teams (‘MSGs’) are liable for overseeing the implementation strategy of the EITI and guaranteeing engagement from authorities, trade and civil society.[16] The MSG could encompass representatives from authorities businesses, commerce unions, parliamentarians, personal sector, civil society, and media.[17]

This multi-stakeholder oversight requires an agreed work plan with clear aims for EITI implementation, alongside a timetable aligned with the deadlines by the EITI Board.[18] For the MSG to efficiently obtain its mandate, it must be reputable and efficient and be capable to present accountability.[19] For instance, the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) didn’t publish the EITI Reviews for 2016/17 & 2017/18, 2019 Annual Work Plan, and 2017/18 Annual Progress Report which resulted in a brief suspension on Liberia by the EITI Board.[20] The LEITI MSG then performed a important position in guaranteeing that the non permanent suspension positioned on Liberia was lifted.

This prevented the nation being delisted from the EITI resulting from its failure to publish the abovementioned studies.[21] The LEITI MSG took important motion to deal with the challenges dealing with the EITI implementation in Liberia by recruiting a technical guide, and appointed an officer-in-charge to help the MSG to finish all excellent studies.[22]

The position of EITI

One of many major success tales attributed to the EITI is its constructive influence on the mineral funding local weather attractiveness in implementing international locations[23]. Resultantly, international locations have a robust incentive to affix the EITI to enhance their status and scale back the perceived danger of investing of their mineral sector.[24]

For instance, Norway was an early adopter of the EITI and its funding attractiveness rating is 70.26 as indicated within the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Corporations 2019. Different EITI nation members are Guinea and Mexico and their respective funding attractiveness scores are 76.64 and 65.43.[25]

Extra not too long ago, the EITI has organised a Contract Transparency Week which goals to help EITI-implementing international locations undertake reforms to reveal contracts. This renewed drive has seen progress on public contract transparency over the past two years, which incorporates the requirement for member international locations to reveal all contracts or licenses granted, entered, or amended from 1 January 2021.[26]

The disclosure of contracts or licenses granted could mitigate the chance of granting them in unethical and irregular processes as seen within the South African case of Imperial Crown Buying and selling and Kumba Iron Ore Firm, whereby mining rights had been granted via political ties.[27] There has additionally been a rise in personal sector help the place mining firms corresponding to Rio Tinto and Kosmos Vitality have taken the result in publish contracts on their web sites and extra firms corresponding to Glencore and South32 have publicly supported contract transparency.[28]

As well as, the world’s largest repository of extractive trade contracts –, has seen a rise in publicly shared paperwork, with near 2500 paperwork from 96 international locations.[29]

It is a step in the best path, and will result in different key trade gamers becoming a member of in on bettering contract transparency and in flip growing accountability mechanisms the place discrepancies are recognized. Furthermore, the publicly out there information shared on the repository can be utilized to facilitate extra analysis research corresponding to inspecting the correlation between disclosure of contracts and enchancment of transparency and accountability mechanisms.


Undoubtedly, the EITI has nice potential to shift the governance needle on the subject of working in the direction of bettering transparency within the extractives sector. Nonetheless, many students have debated the success of the EITI and have questioned its influence round reaching societal change and improvement in resource-rich international locations.

Useful resource-rich international locations are usually not obliged to affix the EITI and subsequently are usually not required to conform to the worldwide requirements of transparency set out by the Initiative. Furthermore, member international locations that haven’t met the EITI necessities are suspended and subsequently face no apparent penalties upon failure to satisfy the necessities.[30]

The second key contributing issue has been the shortage of a robust civil society illustration within the capability of offering oversight, monitoring and participation in MSGs.[31] In actuality, the position of civil society has been severely undermined and has been restricted and hindered by intimidation from governments.

In Azerbaijan, for example, the federal government restricted the operation of civil society organisations and elevated their working dangers via concern of being shut down. Because of this, Azerbaijan was suspended from the EITI as a result of it didn’t allow civil society engagement.[32] And not using a sturdy civil society illustration in MSGs, the EITI can be restricted in being utilised as a instrument to enhance transparency and combat towards corruption.

A last key contributing issue coated on this briefing is the lack of the EITI to forestall corruption.[33] Whereas the EITI has made important efforts to advertise transparency in respective contexts, the problem stays to additional develop and strengthen accountability mechanisms. With the shortage of accountability, no actual penalties might be imposed to forestall and deter corruption.

For instance, in 2008, Zambia’s first EITI report revealed that mining firms forwarded USD 463 million in funds to the federal government, claiming “important discrepancies” and additional noting a web whole of “unresolved discrepancies” of USD 66 million.[34] It additionally states that the EITI “doesn’t give attention to what multinationals should have paid, solely what they’ve paid, and it by no means investigates the means via which firms had been in a position to circumvent taxation”.[35] It’s understood that the EITI will not be an investigative physique and international locations could have to construct complementary mechanisms that may examine and prosecute corruption via utilizing EITI studies.


The EITI has nice potential to considerably enhance transparency within the oil, fuel and minerals sectors, notably in guaranteeing the disclosure of contracts and licenses granted to grease and fuel and mining firms.

Nonetheless, as briefed above, transparency in itself is inadequate to deal with the useful resource curse, not to mention the establishments curse. The founding ideas of many mining codes and worldwide agreements look possible on paper, and the EITI is among the many extra credible.

Nonetheless, these codes are sometimes at odds with their beliefs, and for varied causes, fail to achieve traction in a manner that ends in sustainable broad-based improvement. Collaborative effort is now required between international locations and the EITI to make sure that governments, civil society and the EITI work extra cohesively to construct institutional mechanisms that can assist international locations transfer from mere transparency to actual accountability.

[1] Gillies, A & Heuty, A. (2011). Does transparency work? The challenges of measurement and effectiveness in resource-rich international locations. Yale Journal of Worldwide Affairs. 25-42.

[2] Ross, M.L. (2015). “What Have We realized concerning the Useful resource Curse?”, Annual Evaluate Political Science. 18, 239-59.

[3] Williams, A. (2009). “On the discharge of knowledge by governments: Causes and penalties.”, Journal of Improvement Economics. 89, 124-138.

[4] Kolstad, I & Wiig, A. (2009a). It is the rents, silly! The political economic system of the useful resource curse. Vitality Coverage. 37, 5317-5325.

[5] Herb, M. (2005). No illustration with out taxation? Rents, Improvement and Democracy. Comparative Politics, Vol. 37 3,297-316.

[6] Kolstad, I & Wiig, A. (2009a). It is the rents, silly! The political economic system of the useful resource curse. Vitality Coverage. 37, 5317-5325.

[7] Mehlum, H., Moene, Ok & Torvik, R. (2006a). Establishments and the useful resource curse. The Financial Journal. 116(508), 1-20.

[8] Robinson, J.A., Torvik, R. & Verdier, T. (2006). Political foundations of the useful resource curse. Political Journal of Improvement Economics. 79, 447-468.