Towards Afghanistan’s Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Re-Validation

21.07.2019
Yesterday, a workshop for civil servants, and representatives from civil society organisations (CSOs) and private companies took place at the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) in Kabul. The workshop laid the foundation for re-validating Afghanistan’s membership to the EITI standard for 2020, after being suspended in early 2019. The MoMP’s Deputy Minister for Policy and Programmes, Wali Ullah Zadran, chaired the event. Sixty people, men and women, including key government personnel and the entire Afghan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative Multi-Stakeholder Group participated.

The day began with an input and knowledge-sharing session on Afghanistan’s current challenges with the EITI standard, updates from the EITI head office, and technical insights. Planning sessions for Training Needs Assessments, Capacity Development and Workflow Engineering followed in the afternoon. These key activities will be carried out in the coming months and shall confirm Afghanistan’s commitment to the standard.

Complying with the EITI standard requires units at the MoMP, the Ministry of Finance (MoF), private companies and CSOs to share mining-related data between them. This affirms the need for personnel from each institution to be trained accordingly. Afghanistan’s crucial efforts to comply with the requirements include creating more transparency on state revenue in mining, providing online governance services, and actively involving civil society and the private sector in data collection.

Afghanistan has been an EITI member since 2010. To be reinstated, Afghanistan must improve the online publication of its mining license and revenue data. It must also reconcile royalty payments reported by mining companies against those received by the government. The Afghan government has six months to meet these requirements before applying for re-validation in January 2020.

The Afghan-German Cooperation regularly supports AEITI’s capacity development, knowledge sharing and outreach activities. Most notably, they have supported the implementation of the Mining Cadastre Software Solution, enabling online governance at the MoMP and allowing live mining data to be published online at http://afghanistan.revenuedev.org. The national EITI coordinator, Mr Hashmatullah Sayes, called the portal the “cornerstone of Afghanistan’s compliance with the EITI standard and a source of attraction for foreign investment in the country’s mining sector.”

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 potential, 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 lawfully 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. Furthermore, 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.