By Ngozi Egenuka
Equatorial Guinea has taken a decisive step towards joining the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) after a decade’s effort to be part of the organisation.
Having initially applied for membership in 2008, Equatorial Guinea reaffirmed the country’s commitment to comply with the requirements of being a member, recently.
In a meeting between a delegation from the EITI, National Commission of Equatorial Guinea and the EITI International Secretariat, the National Commission delivered a letter of commitment for its membership in the initiative along with a detailed report on the status of Equatorial Guinea in its process of adhesion to the EITI standards, which outlined all of the improvements and efforts carried out by the country since its last attempt to join the organization.
The EITI standard which has been adopted in 52 countries serves as a global standard for the responsible governance of oil, gas and mineral resources, and seeks to strengthen key public and corporate governance issues of transparency and accountability by requiring the disclosure of information along the extractive industry value chain.
In his speech, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said he believes the country’s membership in the EITI will lead to an increase in foreign direct investment in the energy and non-energy sectors.
He said, “Membership of the EITI would represent a milestone for the country, and a critical step forward in its path to greater transparency and improved governance and management of its extractive resources sector.”
Delegates present at the meeting included the representative of the Equatorial Guinea Civil Society, Don Agustín Moisés Enguru Alene; Director General of Local Content, Don Jacinto Nguema Owono; and the General Coordinator of the National Secretariat, Anacleto Oló Fernández. Regional Director, Francisco Paris and Monica Osorio represented the Oslo-based International Secretariat in the meeting.