Liberia Passes EITI Validation, Despite Challenges
Liberia has passed its Validation by the International Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board despite challenges posed by the internal governance crisis of 2018 and the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Country, since January 2022, has been going through Validation by the International EITI Secretariat on its implementation of the New 2019 EITI Standard in Liberia. Liberia was last validated in August 2016. Through Validation, the EITI’s quality assurance mechanism, implementing countries are assessed on their ability to meet the requirements of the EITI Standard.
In a statement, the EITI Board concluded that Liberia had achieved a ‘Moderate’ overall score (75.5%) in EITI Implementation despite challenges related to its EITI internal governance and the Covid-19 pandemic. “Liberia has used the EITI's Multi-stakeholder platform to meet public demand for transparency and accountability in the mining, oil and gas, agriculture and forestry sectors.”
Describing LEITI as a national torch bearer, the Board acknowledged that Liberia has long used outreach and dissemination as a central aspect of its EITI implementation. The Country's 15 counties each have designated focal points for EITI implementation, which have provided an institutional mechanism for outreach and dissemination at the regional level, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I commend Liberia EITI for recovering from its governance crisis and resuming its efforts to use the EITI as a platform to bring about reform and debate in the extractive sector,” said Helen Clark, EITI Board Chair. “There are opportunities to build on these efforts by improving transparency around the award of extractive rights, the beneficial ownership of companies, contracts, and the operations of the national oil company.”
The Validation result means Liberia, in a short while, has made tremendous progress in shifting from a suspended country in 2018 to an aggressively progressive EITI implementing Country in the World. The latest Validation is the third since the Country institutionalized the EITI process in 2007 and subsequent legislation in 2009.
The Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) is a part of the global Standard — the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) — that promotes revenue transparency in the extractive sectors in resource-rich countries. It strives to ensure transparency over payments made to and revenues received by the Government from companies in the concerned sectors.
Liberia joined the EITI in 2007 and was enacted into law in 2009 as an autonomous agency called LEITI. Up to date, the LEITI has published 12 EITI reports. The LEITI is governed by a broad coalition of Government, civil society, and the private sector. Additionally, international partners serve as observers on the LEITI board.