Seychelles has been accepted by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Board as a Candidate country to the EITI, the global transparency standard.
Seychelles joins 45 other countries that have signed up to the EITI Standard, which requires extensive disclosure and measures to improve accountability in how oil, gas and minerals are managed.
A candidature country is one that has fully, and to the satisfaction of the EITI Board, completed the four sign-up steps set out in the EITI Standard. EITI Candidature is a temporary state which is intended to lead, in a timely fashion, to compliance with the EITI Standard. When the EITI Board admits an EITI Candidate, it establishes deadlines for publishing the first EITI Report and undertaking Validation. The first EITI Report must be published within 18 months and Validation must commence within two and a half years
This comes as three international companies are exploring for hydrocarbons in Seychelles’ vast territorial waters although there have been no commercially viable discoveries to date but hopes are high as extensive gas reserves have been found along the East African coast.
Implementing the EITI is part of the country’s wider efforts to prepare for possible oil and gas production. The government, civil society and companies are working together to ensure a framework is in place for the prudent management of resources and revenue.
Minister of Finance, Trade and Investment Pierre Laporte welcomed the Board’s decision. “Seychelles is fully committed to ensuring the highest degree of transparency in the management of any potential oil discovery”, Minister Laporte said. Seychelles’ EITI work plan includes developing a revenue management mechanism and mapping out the environmental impact of the industry. Focus is also set on building stakeholders’ knowledge of the petroleum sector.
“The EITI Board admits Seychelles as an EITI Candidate country on 6 August 2014. In accordance with the EITI Standard, Seychelles is required to publish its first EITI Report within 18 months of becoming a Candidate (6 February 2016). If the EITI Report is not published by this deadline, Seychelles will be suspended. Validation will commence within 2.5 years of becoming a Candidate (by 6 February 2017).” Read the Board’s decision in full.
Tanzania and Mozambique are the other Eastern African countries with an EITI candidature that have already met all the requirements in the EITI standards while Ethiopia despite receiving the candidature in 2011 is yet to publish any report.