A Session of the Executive Committee of the National Committee for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) of the Republic of Congo was held on Thursday, August 18, 2022, in Brazzaville, in face-to-face mode and by videoconference. It was chaired by Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons, and Vice-president of the Executive Committee of the National Committee. In the presence of delegates from forestry companies and the civil society.
At the end of the meeting, Christian Mounzéo, Member of the National Committee for Civil Society, National Coordinator of ‘’Publish what you pay’’, and Grégoire Nkéoua, Advisor to the President of the Forest Federation - Unicongo, answered questions from journalists, on issues discussed during this meeting.
‘’We talked about the validation of the Congo, since the Congo has been in this process for a few weeks. It is a question of being able to provide the EITI International Secretariat with the data set that will enable it to ensure, through the validator, that the EITI Standard is on the right track. We have basically talked about the challenges, the achievements, and the recommendations that will allow EITI-Congo to be able to comply with that institution’s requirement. We also discussed aspects related to stakeholder engagement, for possible implementation. We discussed ways and means to make the EITI Validation Commission functional, which will monitor the implementation of the validators' recommendations and those of the EITI Reports.
The validation, at this time, is gathering, by the International Secretariat and the validator, information that will enable the validator to decide on the current status of the implementation of the EITI-Congo. We expect that the International Secretariat will produce a Report on its vision for the implementation of the requirements in September 2022 or at its October session.”
For his part, Gregoire Nkoua, Advisor to the President of the Fédération Forêts - Unicongo (Unicongo Forests Federation), whose Vice-President is the Director General of Société industrielle et forestière de Ouesso –IFO- (Forestry and Industrial Company of Ouesso), said: ‘’we particularly talked of a very important point of the EITI Congo Standard, that of the commitment of the parties. It was found that, in the participation of the College of Enterprises, there are Mines, Forests, and the Oil Industry. The evaluator found that our participation is low in the EITI-Congo process. We have, of course, talked about the Covid-19 pandemic, which has really disrupted business. At the level of oil companies, for example, it was noted that this period was prioritized to secure facilities and personnel. What is important is that we are committed to a better participation of the College of Enterprises in the activities of the EITI, to ensure that the self-assessment is done, not on an individual basis, but in a collective way. With regard to the forestry sector in particular, we have highlighted the fact that the restructuring that has been put in place allows the recruitment of a Consultant, who is based in Brazzaville, while our members are active in the northern Congo area, This, of course, raises the problem of travel to attend meetings in Brazzaville. So, the recruitment of this Consultant will bring a lot of improvement in the contribution of the Unicongo Forests Federation, in particular, at the level of the EITI’’.
Interview by the Communication Unit of the Ministry of Finance