What is ZEITI?
The Zambian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (or “ZEITI”) is the local Zambian chapter of a global standard called the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
It is based at the Geological Survey building in Lusaka and is run by a small Secretariat in Lusaka, which oversees the activities and makes sure the process is running smoothly.
So what is the (international) EITI then?
The EITI is a global standard which helps to increase transparency in the extractive industries. It is designed to reconcile how much money mining companies say they have paid over to governments (through taxes, royalties and levies) with how much the government records say they have received. To watch a simple two-minute introduction to the EITI standard, why not watch this video here? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p23EvCLtsUc
For a full list of countries implementing the EITI all over the world, visit this page: https://eiti.org/countries
The international secretariat of the EITI is headquartered in Oslo, Norway.
So how does the EITI standard work, exactly?
Sometimes people think the concept behind the EITI is complicated or confusing, but it isn’t really.
Once a year, the ZEITI produces a report which matches up how much money Zambian mining companies say they paid to the government (over the period of 12 months) with how much governments say they received. This is known as a ‘reconciliation’ of the information from both sides, to check that they match. This helps government to understand exactly how much mining companies are paying each year. This in turn helps the government with planning for the future, making policy, and understanding how to improve regulating mining in Zambia.
To take a look at the latest report from Zambia, click here.
Are other African countries implementing EITI?
Yes. EITI has local chapters in Nigeria, Chad, Ghana, Guinea and many others. Wherever possible, we try to share ideas and learnings to move EITI forward in Africa.
For a full list of the countries implementing EITI across the globe, click here: https://eiti.org/countries
How does ZEITI benefit Zambia, exactly?
The ZEITI exists to increase transparency as a way of combatting corruption and increasing trust. The benefits of implementing the EITI in Zambia are numerous:
- Improved governance
- Improved revenue collection
- One of the tools for fighting corruption
- Provides a forum for collaboration
- Improves Zambia’s sovereign and corporate rating leading to increased investment
- Provides a basis for public engagement
- Improves corporate risk management
- Influences Government policy to ensure that Zambia maximizes benefits from its natural resources and reduces levels of poverty
- Reduces risk of conflict
How do I know I can trust the ZEITI’s figures and information?
First of all, the ZEITI is totally independent. It is not funded, and is not part of, the government, or mining companies, or even civil society.
Secondly, all the ZEITI’s numbers and verified and checked by an independent auditor, to ensure that they are reliable and accurate.
Thirdly, the international EITI Secretariat in Norway also oversees implementing countries to ensure that standards are maintained, and regularly checks compliance to ensure that standards are held high. Should an implementing country not meet its obligations, it can be suspended from the EITI.
I’ve heard about the Multi-stakeholder Council at ZEITI. What is this Council?
In order to be as open and inclusive as possible, the ZEITI is overseen by a Multi-stakeholder Council. This has representatives of communities, NGOs, government departments and mining companies on it to ensure that all voices are heard and taken into account when it comes to implementing ZEITI in Zambia.
The Council meets every two months.
What forms does the ZEITI’s data / information get published in?
Once a year, ZEITI publishes a comprehensive report which you can access on our website. We also publish summaries and topical reports wherever possible. These set out all the numbers and facts for the previous year in terms of money being paid over to government.
You can download the current and historical reports on our website, www.zambiaeiti.org You are also welcome to contact us directly – visit our ‘Contact’ page to find out how.
What is the status of implementation in Zambia?
Zambia joined the EITI in 2009 as candidate country and became compliant on 19 September 2012. To become EITI compliant Zambia was required to produce Reconciliation Reports on what Mining Companies pay to the Government and what Government receives as revenue from Mining Companies.
Another requirement for Zambia to become EITI compliant was to produce a Validation Report. The validation Report is a quality assessment mechanism to ensure that EITI principles and standards are adhered to by the specific country.
When Zambia became EITI Compliant on 19 September 2012, this meant that Zambia has now put in place effective processes for enhancing transparency and accountability in the mining sector to enable the country to maximise benefits from the sector.
We are proud that Zambia is the first country in Central, Eastern, and Southern Africa to become EITI compliant. It is also the 15th in the World out of 35 countries who are currently implementing the EITI.
Is the ZEITI part of the government?
No, ZEITI is independent from government. We have government representatives who sit on our Multi-Stakeholder Council, to ensure they are involved in all our decision-making.
Does the ZEITI set royalties and taxes on mining companies?
No we do not. This is the accountability of the Zambian Revenue Authority (ZRA). However, ZRA can use ZEITI information to inform their decisions.
Does the ZEITI regulate mining companies?
No we do not. This is the accountability of the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, also known as MMMD. However, the MMMD can use ZEITI information to inform their decisions.
Is the ZEITI responsible for encouraging mining investment in Zambia?
No we are not. This is the accountability of the Chamber of Mines and the Government of Zambia. However, the Chamber and the Government can both use ZEITI information to inform their decisions.
My local mining company doesn’t invest enough in the community or its environmental performance is not good. Can ZEITI help with this?
This is not the responsibility of the ZEITI. Contact the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development, the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) or the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources for assistance in this regard.
I’ve heard this term “beneficial ownership” in relation to the ZEITI. What is beneficial ownership?
The identity of the real owners – the ‘beneficial owners’ – of the companies that have obtained rights to extract oil, gas and minerals is often unknown, hidden by a chain of unaccountable corporate entities. This problem also affects other sectors and often helps to feed corruption and tax evasion. People who live in resource-rich countries are at particular risk of losing out as extractive assets are too often misallocated for corrupt reasons. By 2020, all EITI countries – including Zambia – will publish the identity of oil, gas and mining companies that bid for, operate or invest in extractive projects in their country.
This information will be publicly available and will be published in EITI Reports and/or public registries. EITI requirements have sparked reform in 20 countries now working on establishing public registers. Once published, law enforcers, civil society and others have a responsibility to scrutinize the information, and take action to hold to account those who misuse anonymous companies.
You can watch this short two minute video introduction to beneficial ownership: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i-LhQk6kxA
How can I get more information on ZEITI?
Why not sign up for our newsletter for all the latest information? You can also visit us on Facebook and Twitter, or email us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org