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3 Oct 2019

Baz Waiswa, in Earthfinds (Uganda)

Uganda forms team to expedite joining the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative

"Miners hoping EITI will be good for business, promote transparency"

Uganda’s pursuit of becoming a member of the  (EITI) took shape with the formation of the Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) to expedite the application process. The Multi Stakeholder Group membership consists of officials from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MOFPED), Civil Society Organization (CSOs), private sector, international oil and mining companies and representatives of Artisanal and Small Scale Miners (ASMs).

The pending arrival of EITI has caused excitement in the country’s mining sector which is predominantly artisanal, rudimentary and has been characterized by lack of transparency and accountability especially in instances where the government has entered into big money contracts with foreign mining companies. Saul Ongaria, a senior economist at MOFPED, recently speaking at the Citizens Convention on Mining organized by Global Rights Alert (GRA) and partners at Hotel Africana, revealed that Uganda’s application to become a member of EITI will be submitted before the end of this year.

Uganda becoming a member of EITI comes with a number of benefits top of which is the need to promote transparency, good governance and accountability in the sector by both miners and government who must declare details of contracts, transactions and taxes exchanged and how they are used to develop the country. Ongaria told miners and stakeholders at the convention that joining EITI will help Uganda improve her investment climate for miners, generate more revenue for the government, minimize revenue mismanagement, improve the licensing process which has been contentious and provide a platform for sharing of factual sector information.