PWYP Africa members
Date: 18 May 2012
Eastern and Southern Africa Meeting
You can also view this declaration in PDF.
8 – 11 May. Maputo, Mozambique.
We, as coalition members of Publish What You Pay from 12 Eastern and Southern African countries, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, met under the auspices of Publish What You Pay (PWYP), on the theme of moving from transparency to accountability. Having considered the challenges and growth of the extractive industries in Africa and having participated in deliberations, express support and encouragement to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) process and the various governance strengthening processes at national, regional, continental and global levels. We fully understand that governments and companies need to be held to account for their actions in relation to the extractives industry. Extractive industries generate revenues which fail to contribute to the growth of African economies due to illicit capital flows, which are a result of inadequate monitoring and tracking mechanisms. Therefore, in order to manage and benefit from natural resources, we need strong public institutions and civil society representation. International and local partners are required to support and implement programmes with effects that can be realized at the grassroots level. We acknowledge the importance of information exchange across experiences from the different participating countries.
We, being mindful of the continuous challenges facing the communities in extractive areas who do not benefit from their resource-rich surroundings, seek to highlight a series of recommendations for the various stakeholders – Africa governments, extractive companies, developing partners, civil society – and concerning the EITI.
EITI process and consultation
The EITI requires reporting on revenue flows alone, this omits other areas which are crucial to enabling countries to benefit fully from their natural resources. In order for EITI to achieve its aim and be more meaningful to its citizens, its scope must widen, notably to the allocation of license and contracts, the publications of contracts and greater transparency of government budgets and spending.
We entreat our governments to embrace the principles of participation, accountability and transparency in the extractive sector through the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI).
These principles should also be integrated in the activities of regional bodies such as the East African Community, ECOWAS, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)and the Common Market for Southern and Eastern Africa (COMESA) to ensure harmonization, consistency and ease of implementation of the different commitments made by our governments.
EITI implementing African governments need to give the EITI a legal basis in order to oblige extractive companies to report on all the expenditures and tax payments. This will also empower the members of parliament, increasing their oversight over the revenues generated by the extractive sector.
We urge the EITI outreach countries to prioritize their becoming EITI candidates, as well as:
- Create a representative multi-stakeholder group that will help spearhead a platform for the discussion of transparency issues relating to extractives;
- Build trust and confidence amongst stakeholders involved in the extractive sector and civil society;
- Have accessible, comprehensive and aggregated data and information on revenues and extractive related information;
- Ensure a process that legitimizes the role of CSOs as watchdogs of government revenue spending and of broader national development goals.
The African governments
- In most countries the state holds natural resources in trust for the citizens. Therefore the state has the responsibility to ensure maximal benefits can be obtained from natural resource exploitation. Governments must enact legislation and policies that support transparent mechanisms for the management and collection of revenues obtained from the extractive industry.
- The conference resolves that the negotiation and renegotiation of extractive industry contracts must take into account not only fiscal, but also social, labour, environmental and developmental issues that have an adverse impact on the welfare of the local populace.
- In so doing, the Government must guarantee that the process and outcomes of all such negotiations are transparent and accessible to the general public in order to enhance confidence, build trust and promote transparency around extractive issues.
- Overwhelming concerns and evidence of human rights violations by the extractive industries are apparent. For instance, displacement of poor people from their land without adequate compensation, poor working conditions, environmental degradation and pollution. Therefore we implore action by governments to ensure and protect the civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights of citizens affected by the extractive industries. We, on our part, commit ourselves to monitoring the operations of the extractive industries to adhere to the set standards of human rights.
- As Eastern and Southern Africa Publish What You Pay coalitions, we seek stronger political will and commitment towards the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision developed by the African Union. It seeks to use resource exploitation for transformation, growth and development. This represents a move away from mining for revenue towards mining for development. The vision provides a unique opportunity to secure our inter-generational and intra-generational equity in the extraction of African minerals. However, the Africa Mining Vision needs to be aligned with development objectives at the local level through appropriation. A similar approach for other resource sectors (for example oil and forestry) can be adopted to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Governments need to work towards diversifying the economy rather than solely focusing on investing in natural resource extraction. All African governments need to establish mechanisms to put aside some of the revenue generated by extractive operations for future stability, growth, unforeseen downturns and securing the lives and well-being of the current and future generations.
The developing partners
- Donors and the international community should desist from developing and implementing International agreements which reduce and undermine political space, independent continental economic freedom, national development strategies and policies.
- Donors should provide capacity building opportunities to enhance the role of civil society in monitoring the activities of extractive companies.
- Donors need to be fully engaged in order for them to adopt models that suit the different country contexts. We recognize that the model offered by International Financial Institutions has failed to ensure development based on the natural resource endowment and the origin of the vision needs to be questioned.
We continue to recognise the role of the extractive companies as they contribute to economic growth. We expect the extractive companies to respect the laws and use the best available technologies in relation to human rights issues and environmental management. Extractive companies need to observe national laws and international standards/practices such as the OECD guidelines, ISO 26000, Global Compact Principles, GRI Reporting Guidelines, etc…
We as civil society affirm our commitment to the Publish What You Pay Campaign and agree to:
- Continue strengthening our resolve towards promoting transparency and accountability through continued engagement and capacity building of communities. Consequently, our capacity to articulate and interrogate extractive issues more competently through advocacy work will need to be increased.
- Ensure PWYP can speak to the needs of the different coalitions. This conference allows each country to develop their country strategies.
- Understand and appreciate the different developmental contexts of extractive industries, processes, legislation and conventions that relate thereofand have the self awareness which plays a critical role in the actualisation of the vision at national and continental level to createspace for engagement.
- Support government efforts that determine that resources should not be extracted if present regulations are reasoned to be onerous by potential investors;
- Promote a spending of revenues in line with national poverty reduction strategies and participate in ensuring how resources are allocated as well as ensuring resources reach those they are supposed to.
- Take an active role in the identification of key action points for implementation and monitoring of the Africa Mining Vision. It is also important to identify key policy engagement issues centered on transparency and accountability focusing on the value chain.
- Work with the extractive companies, government and communities to establish synergies in identification and implementation of activities derived from the Africa Mining Vision Workplan.
With the above issues in mind, we do hereby beseech, entreat and stress that our Governments, as duly elected representatives of all the people, proceed to act with integrity, and without fear and favour to secure an equitable resolution that ensures the well being of the people, and, in so doing, presage a harmonious future for this great continent that is Africa.