Extracting More From EITI
The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI, www.eitransparency.org) aims to improve transparency and accountability by the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues. The revenues flowing from natural resources extraction are huge. EITI is one of the international soft-law tools most supported by the international community to curb corruption and help the 3.5 billion people – half the population of the planet – living in resource-rich countries to benefit from the sale of their natural resources. Almost six years after the initiative was launched, the results are elusive for several countries. Figure 1 below shows that governments’ public endorsement of the EITI principles does not, on average, improve the perception of corruption levels in their countries. Moreover, according to the World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators, corruption control in EITI countries is worse than in non-EITI resource-rich countries. EITI countries’ scores deteriorated between 2002 and 2007. While these corruption indices are not limited to extractive industries, given their importance in the countries concerned, one would expectmore visible improvements in these indicators.
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