Solidarity with the artisanal mining community starts with transparency
The EITI or the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative has recently announced that “Burkina Faso has made meaningful progress with the EITI Standard”. The EITI is the global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.
Considering the major political and economic changes that Burkina Faso has foregone since 2015, this is a remarkable achievement.
Our sentiment is shared with Fredrik Reinfeldt, Chair of the EITI, who said: “The government of Burkina Faso’s commitment and success in achieving transparency in the extractive sector in a period of political turmoil is admirable. I hope that the government will continue to publish this data in its own systems rather than in standalone reports.”
Overall, we at Barksanem™ believe these developments are significant and only confirm the promising future Burkina Faso has in Western Africa, the continent of Africa and the rest of the world.
Burkina Faso’s Strength
Burkina Faso is clearly standing out as a leader in mineral governance initiatives. Not only is the EITI noticing but other organizations involved in mineral governance as well. Burkina Faso opened their doors to the OECD in November 2017 for a regional forum on responsible mining. This again shows Burkina Faso ability to forge ahead in their quest to set new standards for their nation but also for West Africa. Their strengths and resource wealth are attracting more and more interest to the extractive sector. Burkina Faso is the fastest growing gold producer in Africa. Between 2000 and 2016, the Burkina Faso mining code and the investment code were largely reformed and became more attractive to foreign capital. Around 1.8 billion euros were invested in mining sector during this period.
The EITI acknowledged Burkina Faso’s substantial endeavors to implicate civil society. Civil society in the Burkina Faso is not only willingly participatory, they are efficaciously involved in the EITI process. On several occasions the government advocated, supported and encouraged popular debate, helping shape government policy which allows EITI implementation on a regional level.
Areas of Necessary Improvement
Despite the noteworthy commendation made by the EITI, which is simply the recognition of the diligent performance of many Government officials in Burkina Faso, there is still room for improvement. If the actors in the mining sector (ASM, LSM) are provided with adequate tools and the proper framework, we are confident that the EITI standard will continue to gain importance.
Barksanem™ supports and encourages the various initiatives made by the various state institutions of Burkina Faso and believes this is just the beginning of other distinguished remarks by the mineral governance organizations.