Officials and Stakeholders in Mazar-e Sharif Learn about AEITI – Afghan Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative

Yesterday, a regional awareness workshop on AEITI took place in Mazar-e Sharif. About 30 people from the provinces of Balkh Jowzjan, Sar-e Pul, Samangan and Baghlan attended the event. Participants included government officials and stakeholders from civil society, the private sector and the media. AEITI implemented the workshop. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for promoting good governance in the Afghan extractive sector financed and supported the activity.

The head of AEITI’s communication department, Mr Abdul Malik Asem, moderated the event and emphasised: “The mining sector’s development is important for economic growth in our country. Let us work together for a transparent mining sector.”

AEITI plays a prominent role in facilitating reforms and increasing transparency in the Afghan extractive sector. The workshop aimed at explaining the initiative to the audience. Attendees learned about relevant activities, like a seven-year road map for the Afghan mining and investment opportunities. Participants also discussed last year’s AEITI reconciliation report that provided detailed information on revenues the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) had collected – a milestone for transparency in the sector.

The event concluded with an open discussion session by government officials and AEITI representatives. One participant, Ms Amina Wardak, commented: “Mining without transparency could have disastrous effects on our country. The government, private sector and civil society need to work together to increase transparency, facilitating Afghanistan’s development.”

EITI is a global standard for governing a country’s oil, gas and mineral resources. Governments, companies and civil society implement the standard. Member countries and applicants disclose information on tax payments, licenses, contracts, production and other key elements of natural resource extraction. Afghanistan became a candidate country in 2010.

A well-developed mining sector and transparent extraction of mineral resources are crucial for Afghanistan’s sustainable economic development. More awareness workshops on mining transparency will take place in the months to come. A similar activity has already taken place in Kabul earlier this year.

The programme Promoting Good Governance in the Extractive Sector in Afghanistan is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). To fully leverage the Afghan mining sector’s poten-tial, the programme aims at increasing state revenues, promoting investment and fighting corruption in the sector. The project trains stakeholders to ensure that mining activities are carried out transparently and according to law as well as international health and environmental standards. Among other activities, the project has organised 21 training courses on topics such as mine planning, mining economics and mining supervision for more than 310 mining inspectors and other employees at the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) and provincial authorities since 2013. At the same time, the programme has financed 13 scholarships for Afghan women to promote female participation in the sector. The programme further supports the Afghan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) to promote transparency and fight corruption.