Inauguration LEITI Resource Center
Honorable Ministers and Members of Parliament
Members and Officials of Government;
Members of the LEITI Multi-Stakeholders’ Steering Group;
Staff of the LEITI Secretariat;
Members of the press;
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen:
Good afternoon. I am very happy to see you all here on occasion of the LEITI Resource Center. This is another event of the fruitful collaboration of LEITI and GIZ since 2010. More recently, we can look back at the launch of the third LEITI Report and the Incentivizing Report which I had the honor to attend, as well as the very successful retreat of the LEITI Multi-stakeholder Group on a new strategic Work Plan held in Buchanan City earlier this month.
As part of their collaboration on improving resource governance through transparency and accountability, LEITI and the GIZ Regional Resource Governance Project have agreed to establish a Resource Center on the premises of the LEITI Secretariat. This Resource Center, that we are inaugurating today, aims at increasing opportunities for the Liberian Society especially for government and the civil society to access information and broaden the knowledge on resource governance and the benefits that can be derived.
Evidently, in Liberia the access of stakeholders to quality information is weak. It is even more evident when constraints such as weak internet connectivity and an almost non-existent book market are taken into consideration. This places a huge burden on decision-makers and civil society who need good information for legislation and advocacy. Thus, this Resource Center will offer a range of publications on resource governance issues pertinent for the extractive industries sector in Liberia and Africa. This includes laws, regulations, scientific publications, documents by research institutes and NGOs, as well as publications and documents of the German Development Cooperation, the World Bank Group and other multilateral partners.
LEITI and GIZ have assessed that it is of key importance to widen the access, opportunities and the knowledge base of the general public and in particular that of journalists, civil society, Liberian and international researchers, government officials and parliamentarians. The Resource Center shall in this respect serve as a point of reference, initiating and hosting well-informed public debates. This is in accordance with the provisions of the LEITI Act of 2009 which mandates the LEITI Multi Stakeholder Group and the Secretariat, as follows:
- To serve as a platform bringing together the Government of Liberia, civil society, and relevant private companies for effective implementation of the criteria and principles of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
- To promote better public understanding of the non-renewable nature of most extractive resources; the causes of resource-based conflicts; and the benefits of transparent and prudent resource governance.“
Aiming at lasting investments, LEITI and GIZ Resource Governance Project have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which addresses the sustainability of the Resource Centre. While GIZ took responsibility for the initial supply of publications and to furnish the Centre, LEITI will take on a strong role to promote and ensure accessibility and availability to the public, including internet access. LEITI will also organize public events on resource governance, transparency and accountability, and related topics, in order to initiate a well-informed debate with the LEITI-stakeholders and the general public. LEITI will also be responsible for the future upkeep of the Centre.
Considering the very successful cooperation between LIETI and GIZ, I believe that the launch of the Centre shows what joint efforts of development partners can achieve. For the future, I would like to wish you all success with the Resource Centre. Spread the word, and turn the Centre into a place of vibrant debate where people can extend their knowledge on resource governance and where increased transparency is very visible.