The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) continues to closely follow the changes underway in Guinea, including the formation of a transition government. NRGI calls on the Guinean authorities to safeguard the positive progress made in recent years on the governance of the country’s mining sector, and to address several areas of ongoing concern.
In recent years, as the country’s mining activities have expanded, the government of Guinea and relevant stakeholders have strived to improve transparency and accountability rules and practices governing the sector. The 2021 edition of the Resource Governance Index (RGI), published in June 2021, highlights tangible improvements to the governance of the mining sector, particularly the implementation of subnational revenue transfers in 2019. The RGI also indicates several weaknesses remaining in both the legal framework and actual practice, including in the control of corruption risks and conflicts of interests and in the management of negative impacts of mining activities.
As a member of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), Guinea is undergoing the EITI validation process, a periodic assessment of a country’s ability to meet the provisions of the EITI Standard. Guinea’s previous EITI assessment in 2019 showed that the country had made meaningful progress in implementing the EITI Standard. It is essential that this validation takes place as planned as it provides the means for stakeholders to advocate for and design improved rules and practices, to communicate and continue leveraging progress, and to address any concerns that emerge.
Prior to the regime change, all municipalities across the country had begun to benefit from funds collected directly from mining revenues, provided for in the 2011/2013 mining code in support of local development. NRGI calls on the new authorities to protect these subnational payments and transfers, to safeguard transparency and accountability in the collection and use of these benefits, and to amplify their impacts for both communities and Guinean citizens generally.
In addition, the success of the sector’s local content policy, which aims to increase the participation of Guinean workers and entrepreneurs in mining activities in order to generate more added value in the country, requires rigorous monitoring. By ensuring its proper implementation through relevant socio-economic indicators, the government can ensure that the policy succeeds. So that Guinean citizens can better understand the negative impacts of the mining activities, NRGI recommends that the government requires the disclosure of social and environmental studies and management plans and that it finalizes the regulations of the 2019 environmental code, including those relating to compensation and resettlement of people affected by mining projects.
More broadly, NRGI calls on the new authorities to accelerate the fight against conflicts of interest and corruption risks. Implementing the requirement to disclose beneficial ownership information on all mining titles, as well as the financial interests of government officials in mining companies, is critical to ensure that the mining returns benefit all Guineans equitably.
Finally, NRGI emphasizes the importance of a free and dynamic civic space, which is vital for the accountable management of natural resources. NRGI calls on the new government of Guinea to protect the work of civil society organizations and journalists, as well as that of state oversight institutions such as the Court of Auditors (Cour des Comptes).