The board for the international non-profit organization, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), has approved Angola’s application to become a member of its standards, demonstrating the southern African country’s commitment to the implementation of transparency practices in the extractive sector.
With the fight against corruption serving as the cornerstone of Angolan President, H.E. João Lourenço’s administrative policies since taking office in 2017, the integration process follows a request made by Angola’s Government in 2020 to join the EITI, with the country’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, H.E. Diamantino Azevedo, having stated that all the procedures required by the organization for acceptance as a member have been fulfilled.
“Angola took the decision to join the EITI after serious consideration by H.E. President João Manuel Gonçlaves Lourenço, in alignment with the administration’s focus on anti-corruption,” stated H.E. Minister Azevedo, adding that, “With this step, the country intends to continuously improve the business environment and investment climate. This will contribute to the mobilization of revenues and a direct positive impact on Angolans. Angola’s accession to the EITI means the beginning of a new era for the country.”
Made up of representatives of the state, civil society and the extractives industry, the EITI promotes the implementation of transparent practices in the sector, having been formed in 2003 following calls by civil society to address corruption risks and challenges. The group, based in Oslo, Norway, is tasked with identifying corruption risks, administrative discrepancies and ensuring that critical information from member countries’ extractive industry is made public.
“Angola joins the EITI at a critical juncture. The COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing oil price volatility, and concerns over energy security mean that governance and transparency need to be at the heart of the country’s energy policies. Angola has an opportunity to use EITI implementation to reinforce its anti-corruption efforts, strengthen the reform of Sonangol, and ensure that the extractive sector contributes to domestic resource mobilization,” stated Rt Hon. Helen Clark, EITI Board Chair.
Indicative of Angola’s commitment to improving transparency within its extractive sector, Africa’s largest oil producer will be required to submit its first disclosures in line with the EITI Standard within 18 months, ensuring that critical information on its sector, such as industry beneficiaries and contract details, as well as the management of sector revenues and state-owned enterprises will be made public, thus promoting public debate and supporting oversight of the sector.
Sebastião Gaspar Martins, CEO of Angola’s state-owned national oil and gas company, Sonangol, commented that, “Sonangol, as the flagship oil company in Angola, is pleased with the country’s admission as a member of the EITI. This milestone reinforced Angola’s commitment, also assumed by Sonangol, to responsibly manage its resources for the country’s development and for the benefit of Angolans, with guidance from international best practice.”
As part of its candidature, Angola has formed a multi-stakeholder group of government, industry and civil society representatives to guarantee the country’s commitment to the EITI Standard.