Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative: Progress and Challenges

(Panel debate on the EITI at the NFU 2007 conference)

The EITI initiative aims to improve transparency in the use of revenues from the extractive industries, including petroleum and mining, in developing and transition countries. The initiative was launched in 2002 by British prime minister Tony Blair, and has been led by the Department for International Development. From 2007, the EITI secretariat will be located in Oslo, Norway.

Both resource rich countries and corporations in the extractive industries are members of the EITI. The EITI is a voluntary initiative, in the sense that it is voluntary for countries and corporations to join the initiative, and implementation of its principles are also voluntary. This panel debate addresses the question of the likely impact of the EITI initiative on improving revenue transparency and development more generally in poor countries rich in natural resources. What have been the achievements of the initiative so far, and what progress is there likely to be in the future? What are the limitations to a voluntary initiative such as EITI, and how can these best be addressed? Which complementary and additional means are necessary to lift the resource curse in developing countries?

The aim is to have an informed debate on these issues that is accessible and of interest to a wider audience. Confirmed participants are:

  • Mr. Jonas Moberg, Head of the Secretariat, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative
  • Ms. Mona Thowsen, PWYP Norway
  • Dr Elissaios Papyrakis, University of East Anglia, U.K.

 The session was chaired by Arne Wiig, CMI.