AAMEG Welcomes EITI
The Australian African Minerals & Energy Group (AAMEG) welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement of a pilot scheme of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
EITI has been successfully implemented in 11 countries and has done much to promote and support improved governance in resource-rich countries through the full publication and verification of company payments and government revenues from oil, gas, and mining.
Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, and Resources Minister, Martin Ferguson, announced the pilot scheme at the CHOGM 2011 Australia-Africa Foreign Ministers’ Mining Breakfast in Perth today.
Under the EITI pilot, Australia will assess the transparency of its financial reporting arrangements for the resources sector against EITI principles, considered a global benchmark for natural resource revenue management.
AAMEG chairman Bill Turner said the pilot scheme would be of great benefit to both the industry and the host governments involved.
“Australian companies venturing into Africa can be relied on to not only undertake good technical work, but to do so with a keen sense of social responsibility,” Turner said. “AAMEG members believe that it is simply good business to act in a socially responsible manner and to that end the EITI pilot adds another layer of transparency and accountability.”
Established in 2010 at the suggestion of the Australian Government, AAMEG is a mining and services industry organisation with the aim of strengthening Australian engagement in mining in Africa.
AAMEG has worked extensively with government agencies over the past 12 months to establish common goals and areas of interest. The purpose of the group is to provide guidance, based on first-hand experience, to the smaller Australian companies active in Africa, and to encourage partnerships with the Australian Government, NGOs and academia, in order to enhance capacity and support social development and economic growth in Africa.
Turner said the EITI pilot would add a further level of engagement between Australian companies and government agencies working in Africa. AAMEG believes a well-regulated mining sector can provide opportunities for strong economic growth and community development. Adopting EITI principles can only aid that process.
Turner also welcomed the Government’s commitment to provide $12.7 million to support the international advocacy of EITI, in particular support to developing countries in the technical challenges of implementation.
“The EITI pilot is another plank of Australia’s increasing engagement with the mining industry on the African continent. This week, we have already seen the launch of the Mining for Development Initiative, which will be centred on a new International Mining for Development Centre, to be based in the University of Western Australia’s Energy and Mineral Institute.
“Capacity building is a vital component in establishing strong, independent and vibrant resources industries in developing countries and the Australian Government’s commitment to such initiatives can only benefit all involved in the resources sector in Africa.”
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