Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia
February 18, 2014. Washington, DC–. Ethiopia is once again applying for membership in the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), “a coalition of global countries, companies, investors and civil society working together to improve openness and accountable management of revenues from natural resources.” Countries that meet the EITI criteria for compliance by providing reconciled and audited reports of payments made by mining companies and revenues collected by the government in the sector can become “compliant members,” a status that helps attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in resource extraction. Other factors are also important, like a well-functioning civil society.
In 2010, Ethiopia’s application was denied based on Ethiopia’s enactment of the Charities and Society Proclamation (CSO), a law that aggressively targets civil society. According to the principles of EITI, an active, independent and robust civil society is essential for the protection of society from the excesses and harmful practices sometimes associated with unethical extractions of oil, gas and minerals; therefore, the lack of such was enough to reject Ethiopia.