News: PWYP Africa Steering Committee – Douala, Cameroon – 24 January 2018 COMMUNIQUE

On 23 and 24 January 2018 the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Africa Steering Committee (ASC) met in Douala, Cameroon for their second meeting following their election to the ASC in Livingstone, Zambia in July 2017.

The objectives of their meeting were to:
  • Identify the ASC’s high level objectives for 2018 and for the term (to 2020); and agree methods of work
  • Address pending coalition issues including expansion, new members and adherence to governance standards
  • Agree next steps for developing and implementing the PWYP sub-regional strategies
  • The key decisions were:
  • The adoption of the revised Africa Charter (the Charter will be reviewed again in 2020)
  • The approval of the application from the coalition in Gabon to re-affiliate to PWYP
  • Over the course of the two-day meeting, the ASC reflected on a number of issues of strategic relevance to the campaign in Africa and highlighted the importance of their role in taking the lead to advance those issues. The ASC discussed the evolution of the EITI Standard and its role in safeguarding civic space, while also noting recent challenges including the unfortunate departure of the first African country, Niger, from the initiative. The ASC welcomed the reinforced support that the PWYP International Secretariat will be providing to PWYP members on EITI implementation at both the international and national levels in 2018 and beyond.

    The ASC also discussed the potential for PWYP members in Africa to play a more concerted role in advocating for the inclusion of the Africa Mining Vision in ongoing legislative review processes at the sub-regional level.

    In addition, the ASC highlighted the importance of building a more consistent reflection on gender into their work and the work of the PWYP coalitions in Africa. They welcomed the start of a two year pilot project to develop a more gender sensitive implementation of EITI in West Africa, including the opportunity for PWYP coalitions in that sub-region to take part in a ‘gender audit’ in order to improve their own gender responsiveness.

    In relation to membership engagement in Africa, the ASC reiterated their support for an approach to re-engage coalitions in Anglophone West Africa, a process which will be led by the representative for the sub-region on the ASC over the course of 2018 and 2019.

    In addition, the ASC welcomed and approved the application from a coalition in Gabon to affiliate to the PWYP network.

    Finally, the ASC agreed to develop methods of work to facilitate their effectiveness in their role, which will be shared with the PWYP Africa coalition members in due course as an accountability mechanism.

    The ASC agreed to focus their three year term on supporting strategic development and advocacy at the regional level; consolidation of PWYP in Anglophone West Africa and in other sub-regions; and developing approaches to support PWYP members to understand and uphold the PWYP Operating Principles. The ASC acknowledged the work of their predecessors who have helped to sustain the PWYP movement on the continent.

    The ASC participated in a press conference following the conclusion of the meeting, where they took the opportunity to provide more detail on the agenda of the PWYP movement and the particular discussions undertaken by the ASC. In addition, the ASC highlighted the critical role that PWYP activists are playing around the world to implement the EITI and to pursue key demands, including for contract transparency and the new frontier of commodity trading transparency. The ASC emphasised the importance of the role of the press in the good governance of the extractive sector in Africa.

    PWYP Africa Steering Committee Douala, Cameroon 24 January 2018