Zimbabwe is weighing its options on joining the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global community of mining countries focused on improving the flow of information in the sector.
The EITI’s work is described as a tripartite structure of governments, companies and non-governmental organisations (NGO) meant to facilitate publishing of how much mining firms pay to governments.
Multi-stakeholder consultations are underway in Zimbabwe, as the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development seeks to make an evidence-based decision. Regional director at the EITI International Secretariat Mr Pablo Valverde is in the country to try and sell the idea to key local players in the mining sector.
“The EITI seeks to enhance the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.
“That can be done through improved transparency which can attract investors to the country and better inform policy,” Mr Valverde said.
Unlike other international sector communities like CITES, who have stringent rules that sometimes disadvantage members, the EITI is flexible and allows countries to self-determine.
“We are not going to be telling Zimbabwe issues to focus on, their focus areas will be what they decide on. What we will be encouraging is transparency in their mining sector and any other issues will be decided by multi-stakeholder group which will be made up by the Zimbabwean Government, industry and civil society,” Mr Valverde said.
Zimbabwe has said it will not be rushing to join the 52-member community as it will scrutinise all possible outcomes thoroughly.
Speaking at the EITI stakeholder consultations recently, Secretary for Mines and Mining Development Onesmo Moyo said Zimbabwe was committed to transparent sale of minerals.
“Zimbabwe is committed to transparent sale of its minerals and natural resources, but we need to ask questions before joining EITI.
“On minerals like platinum, why is it that the biggest producers South Africa and Russia are not part of it? Are they seeing something we are not seeing?” Mr Moyo said.
In an interview, Deputy Mines and Mining Development Minister Polite Kambamura said Zimbabwe’s mining thrust involves giving serious thought to platforms like EITI.
“We would like to be transparent as it brings more investment, which will bring in more opportunities.”