Head of AlbEITI Secretariat’s meets with the press

Head of AlbEITI Secretariat’s meets with the press

The Head of the National Secretariat of Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AlbEITI), Ardit Kamberi, held a meeting with journalists from News 24, Ora News, Monitor, Panorama.

While responding to journalists’ questions, Mr. Ardit Kamberi, stressed the importance of the mission of the EITI National Secretariat, which promotes transparency and good governance of the country’s natural resources in compliance with the EITI Standard. The slogan of the EITI International Secretatiat, established in June 2003, is “Seeing Results from Natural Resources”.

Mr. Kamberi specified the objectives and priorities of AlbEITI, such as: promoting Transparency to prevent Corruption and providing citizens with an updated database which will give them the chance to demand fair distribution of revenue, so it can contribute to economic growth, sustainable sevelopment and positive social and environmental impacts.

Furthermore, he added that EITI will work to improve the quality of cooperation with stakeholders, including central and local government bodies, extractive and manufacturing companies, and civil society.

The Head of AlbEITI said that he sees EITI, a mechanism in line with the international standard, as a showcase for foreign investors in Albania, established to ensure control over natural resources, to promote transparency and attract foreign investments in the petroleum, mining and energy sectors.

The Director of AlbEITI noted that the successful implementation of the reform undertaken by Albanian government in the energy sector constitutes a model of success which will be applied in other key sectors of the economy, including the exploitation of country’s natural resources. In addition, the Albanian Government has provided strong and continuous support to the implementation of the TAP project, directly contributing to the project’s progess, which has been satisfactory with nearly more than 50% completed up to the present phase, and completion by 2020.

According to the data published in the EITI Report, mineral production reached USD 230 million in 2015, about 55% more compared to USD 149 million in 2012. With regard to the energy sector, electricity production reached USD 398 million in 2015, which reperesents an increase of 276% compared to 2012 estimated production of 106 million USD.

One of the main objectives of the EITI Secretariat is the approval in the near future of the law on “Transparency in extractive industries and exploitation of natural resources in the Republic of Albania”, as well as the preparation of a legal framework on the disclosure of beneficial ownership by 2020 of extractive companies in Albania, aiming to increase transparency, fight corruption and conflicts of interest. The draft law is currently under consulation with line ministries and relevant institutions, including other stakeholders involved in the process.

The EITI National Secretariat will participate for the first time in a Pilot Project, organized by the International Secretariat, on transparency in commodity trading by state-owned enterprises in extractive industries.

In order to maximize the positive social impacts in local communities living in extractive areas, the EITI Secretariat will also focus on monitoring the utilization of funds generated from mining royalties and administered by LGUs.

In addition, Mr. Kamberi said that the activities conducted by the National Secretariat, in line with the international standard, will be disclosed through an official annual report which is prepared by an Independent Administrator, by analyzing and giving respective recommendations to the interest groups. Since 2011, EITI Albania has published 6 annual reports for 7 years (2009-2015) whereas the latest report is expected to be published in early 2018.

The validation processes carried out by the EITI International Secretariat, based in Oslo, Norway, have also praised the progress made by AlbEITI Secretariat. We are expecting the results of the last validation process to be published shortly.

The EITI Secretariat plans to organize an International Conference in Tirana, with a wide participation of representatives from central institutions, International Partners, Financial Institutions, Companies and Civil Society. The conference will focus on the advantages of being a member in the EITI Global Initiative, a volunteer coalition of countries aiming to enhance both control over the governance of natural resources and transparency of the revenue generated from the use of these resources, which are otherwise considered as “Underground Bank”.

Mr. Kamberi emphasized that the EITI process has incorporated the principle of “Transparency being the Best Policy”.