By George Mangula
The Multi-Stakeholder Group (MSG) of the Uganda Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) held its 8th meeting last Friday in Kampala, to discuss the July 2020 – June 2021 work-plan to guide the EITI implementation and lead to the publication of Uganda’s first EITI report.
According to officials, Uganda’s National EITI work-plan has three main objectives: To enhance transparency in the extractives sector; to strengthen revenue management and accountability; to build the operational and technical capacity of the MSG and Secretariat to ensure EITI is effectively implemented.
This was the first MSG meeting held after Uganda’s accession to EITI, which took place on August 12, 2020. As an EITI member, Uganda will be required to disclose information on contracts and processes of awarding them, exploration and production activities and revenue collected from the extractives sector.
The MSG Chair Moses Kaggwa in his welcoming remarks thanked the members for their commitment and commended them for their collective effort in ensuring fulfillment of the requirements to join EITI. He also gave an update on the extractives industry such as developments on the EACOP Pipeline, Oil Refinery Project and the Mining sector reforms being undertaken by Government which will complement the implementation of EITI in Uganda.
Kaggwa emphasized that the first EITI national report due in February 2022 needs to be well prepared detailing the key aspects of Uganda’s extractive sector following the framework and guidelines provided in the EITI Standard in order for Uganda to be validated.
The meeting was officiated by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija who in his address emphasized that the decision to join EITI will create a transparent and competitive environment for investment opportunities for both the local and international investors in the extractive sector of Uganda.
“We need to ensure that our people understand, appreciate and participate in the development compact that we have with our private sector partners in the extractives sector. It is important that our natural resources benefit all Ugandans” Kasaija said.
The Group also discussed additional disclosure requirements under the EITI Standard, highlighting that successful implementation of EITI will be through close inter-agency collaboration and collective stakeholder contribution.
MSG comprises 26 members representing the three constituencies of government, oil and mining companies and civil society. Its role is to oversee EITI implementation in Uganda so as to improve the governance of the extractive sector through enhanced transparency and accountability.