Saturday, 4 June 2016

Afghan-Germany Coop published ”A Balancing Act for the Extractive Sector Governance”

The research document was officially launched during the last meeting between the 'Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)' and the 'Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU)' a few days ago. The paper is based on academic as well as practical research and interviews. Some of the crucial administrative shortcoming addressed in the paper are: corruption, poor access to data, weak regulatory capacity and authority, and an insufficient involvement of civil society actors. The document calls for review of already existing contracts and for the involvement of civil society members to ensure accountability and transparency. ” This should allow a more progressive implementation and monitoring, building government capacity as well as strengthening coordination and cooperation between the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum and the National Environmental Protection Agency. It should also raise additional awareness of how important public participation is and which methods should ideally be followed,” said a press release from Afghan-German Cooperation. About 20 senior representatives of the Afghan Ministry of Economy (MoE), Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD), Govern4Afghanistan experts, the German Development Cooperation-Afghanistan, members of civil society organizations and stakeholders from the Kabul based foreign community attended the event. Attendees discussed about the implementation of the paper’s recommendations, talking about challenges and problems mentioned in the document.
“There is lack of capacity at the ministry and we need to ensure to address this problem”, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum highlighted during the meeting. He also emphasised the crucial role of civil society organizations to raise awareness on issues occurring in the extractive sector. He explicitly mentioned the issue of power relations affecting the mining sector in Afghanistan. The German governance sector coordinator stressed the need to continuously follow up on all implementation measures after the publication of the ”A Balancing Act for the Extractive Sector Governance”. He also emphasised the importance of addressing corruption problems. The paper on mining governance will be the groundwork for further dialogue between governmental institutions of Afghanistan inside the donors and academics. Today’s event is part of the two-year project “Governance Forum for Afghanistan: Govern4Afghanistan”. It has been launched by Afghan and German partners in order to establish a platform for policy dialogue on critical governance topics in Afghanistan. Researchers and policy-makers from both countries are providing evidence based input to foster the dialogue aiming to strengthen development cooperation in the governance sector.