LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The country’s much awaited Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) report is expected to be ready in April this year with the aim of attaining world compliant status, The Maravi
Post can reveal.
The revelation comes two years after Malawi joined the worldwide standard network on extractive industry with focus on the management of focusing on mining, oil, forestry, and gases.
The report which is the first of its kind will disclose information on tax payments, licences, contracts, and production, among other key elements around resource extraction.
In the study, natural resources companies are expected and required to disclose the payments they make to the government including taxes, royalties and rents.
In order to achieve that, Malawi Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (MWEITI) which is a Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) composed of government institutions, civil society organizations and private
sector, contracted an Independent Administrator, Moore Stephens, last year, 2015 to carry out the assignment.
The administrator Stephens started already collecting information from government on tax payments, licences, contracts, production, among other key elements around resource extraction.
Not only that the Independent Administrator is also gathering information from natural resources companies relating to payments they make to Malawi government, which includes taxes, royalties and rents.
Stephens who was in the country for the EITI conference on updates with extractive companies in the capital Lilongwe told The Maravi Post that preparation for the report was at an advanced stage assuring that
in April this year, the document might be ready.
The administrator hinted that in this day and age, everything has to be done in an open man saying such report will give Malawi standard status on extractive industry.
“When you have transparency and accountability in a country, your ratings improve and this leads to investors being interested in the country and that nation economically develops”, said Stephens.
In his remarks, Grain Malunga, the former Minister of Energy and Mines under the late Bingu wa Mutharika who is also a board member for MWEITI’s MSG said the report will clear the mist on mining secrecy
deals in the country.
Malunga added that companies need to adhere to the requirements of reporting the progress that they are making in order to clean up their images.
The former Energy Minister noted that most mining companies are suspiciously looked at because of the culture of secrecy.
“This country has had a volatile period where people think there is a lot of secrecy in mining sector. Through this report will an opportunity to show the world that companies are doing transparent business and have an international reputation of doing business.
“The report will be a useful tool for all Malawians to see how we are managing the country’s natural resources, and how much revenue is being generated. It is hoped that this information will stimulate informed and evidence-based dialogue on ways of how best to utilize our finite and non-renewable natural resources to meet our national priorities, outlined in the Malawi Growth and Development Strategy II”, said Malunga.
Last month country’s extractive industries stakeholders’ adoption of two critical documents; open data policy and benefit ownership disclosure roadmap.
The policy has been developed to ensure that data relating to natural resources revenue and expenditure is easily accessible, user friendly understood and raises public debate regarding to the management of the
extractive industry; mining, oil, forestry, and gases.
The approval of these documents is Malawi’s commitment towards the worldwide standard network, the EITI with expectation to maximize benefits from extractive sector proceeds towards social-economic growth of the people.
Following the country’s commitment and complaint with the EITI standards, the Ministry of Finance was indorsed to champion the initiative in Malawi, leading to the MWEITI.
Since its inception, the MSG has developed a roadmap and made an application to EITI International Secretariat for Malawi’s candidature status which was granted on October 2015.