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Tanzania’s compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), which promotes greater transparency and accountability in managing oil, gas and mining sectors, “is a milestone for the country’s economic growth prospects,” said the World Bank’s Tanzania country director.
“We congratulate Tanzania on achieving this milestone, which will help translate their natural resources into inclusive and sustainable economic growth,” said Philippe Dongier, World Bank’s country director for Tanzania. “The compliance with the EITI comes at a crucial time when Tanzania has made huge gas discoveries and the public is calling for responsible management of the new resources.”
Compliance with EITI means that Tanzania’s EITI process, launched in collaboration between government, mining companies and civil society, has been formally recognized by the EITI’s international board, which made the decision last Tuesday Dec. 11. Tanzania thus joins 17 countries that are already compliant. Another 20 are candidates for EITI compliance.
The EITI process in Tanzania commits mining companies to publishing their payments to government and commits government to publishing the revenues they receive from these companies. These two sets of numbers are matched up and published, giving citizens the opportunity to know of the income generated by extracting Tanzania’s natural resources like gold, natural gas, and other minerals.
Tanzania became an EITI candidate country in February 2009. In support of Tanzania’s efforts, the World Bank’s Oil, Gas and Mining unit has used funds contributed under a Multi-donor Trust Fund to assist the country to implement the EITI principles, particularly by increasing technical capacity of government and civil society stakeholders so their participation in the process is more effective.
Tanzania’s extractive industries have experienced a boom over the past decade, notably with recent natural gas discoveries. This has attracted more investments, along with increased awareness of the need to ensure these resources benefit all Tanzanians.
Extractive industries contributed US$305 million to government revenues in the year ending June 30, 2010, up from US$99 million the previous year. With the new gas discoveries, revenues are expected to rise significantly in the future.
“With EITI compliance Tanzania sends a clear message: all stakeholders want to increase transparency and accountability in the sector,” said Paulo de Sa, manager of the World Bank’s Oil, Gas and Mining unit. “We are encouraged by Tanzania’s progress and will continue to support their efforts to ensure extractive resources contribute to reducing poverty and building much needed infrastructure.”