Debate on AEITI’s 5th Reconciliation Report in Kandahar Province

Findings of AEITI’s 5th Reconciliation Report was recently shared with government officials, private sector and the civil society in an outreach trip of AEITI to Kandahar. Around 20 employees of Kandahar MOSTOFIYAT and 30 members of civil society took part in this one day workshop. Participants were briefed about the duties and activities of AEITI, meanwhile EITI standards was also shared with them. Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) activity report was shared with the participants, discussions took place about EITI standards, that these standards will highly be effective in extractive industries in Afghanistan and will cause transparency in this sector. As per the issue of obtaining EITI membership, for the last seven years Afghanistan Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (AEITI) has worked tremendously well to bring betterment and reforms in mining sector, revenue collection and transparency.

Recommendations and findings of AEITI 5th Reconciliation Report were considered significant by the participants, and asked the government to take solemn steps in order to implement these recommendations. GIZ was the sponsor of AEITI outreach workshop in Kandahar, where the civil society had a brief discussion in regard of the extraction and the income from the extraction. At the same time participants shared their views with each other about the condition of the mining sector in Kandahar province, participants requested Kandahar Directorate of Mines to share their mining reports with public on timely basis. Civil society members of Kandahar asked Kandahar’s Directorate of Mines to share all information taking place in the mining sector overall in this province. Kandahar’s director of mines Khan Agha Tarakhel gave a short glance to the participants about the mines in this province and indicated that insecurity has really created barriers to their employees for visiting the extraction areas and activities.

According to NASA Afghanistan has more than three trillion dollar underground mines and, extraction of these mines can change Afghanistan to a country with a strong economy. Afghan government is highly interested to extract its natural resources and in the coming 15 years eyes to gain around three point five billion dollar each year from this sector. Currently the income of Afghanistan from this sector is so less, collection of revenue in this sector needs transparency and implementation of international standards. Seven years back from today Afghanistan accepted to implement EITI standards in order to bring betterment, transparency and easiness in the collection process of revenue from the extractive sector and for this reason nominated itself as a candidate country of EITI to become a member country by implementing EITI rules and regulations and more importantly EITI standards.

AEITI team had an effective session with Kandahar’s MOSTOFI Muhammad Zahir Ebadi (Director for Directorate of Finance) and requested him to cooperate and share information for the upcoming AEITI report, and the MOSTOFI assured AEITI team of all sorts of cooperation and coordination and directed his employees to give supportive hand to AEITI. Kandahar’s director of mines Mr. Khan Agha Tarakhel shared the lists of extraction took place in this province with AEITI team.