Natural resources include iron ore, timber, diamonds, gold and tin. Liberia also has potential offshore crude oil deposits, which companies including Chevron and Tullow Oil have started exploration for. The extractive sector suffered dramatically during Liberia’s civil war (all the mines were closed, and by 2010 mining only contributed 0.9% to GDP, whereas in the 1990s this figure had been about 25%). Since 2003 the government has been actively trying to revive the mining sector.
Sources: CIA World Factbook, EITI, USGS, US State Department
EITI status: Compliant
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Last Update 10.06.10
PWYP Liberia has been widely credited for the awareness-raising and lobbying efforts that led to Liberia’s participation in the EITI. With the launch of the Liberian campaign, the coalition succeeded in becoming the face of the EITI, taking a leadership role in its implementation.
While participating in – and occasionally hosting – MSG meetings, PWYP-Liberia helped in the drafting of the LEITI Act, which supports a value-chain approach. Furthermore, the second LEITI report – which was launched in February 2010 with a record 71 companies (compared with 30 in the first report) – also includes the agricultural sector, thanks to the work of the coalition in raising awareness about the revenue potential of agriculture.
Numerous workshops gathering PWYP activists, members of the National Legislature, Government Officials, the private sector, donors, the media and other relevant partners fed into the draft roadmap for the Government of Liberia and its international partners signalling the steps leading to Liberia’s participation in the EITI. Many recommendations for “EITI Next Steps” – such as the inclusion of reporting on forestry and disaggregated disclosure – have been implemented by the Liberian Government. The report was also presented to EITI Chairman, Peter Eigen, who visited Liberia in September 2009.
Peter Eigen’s visit also presented an opportunity for PWYP Liberia to highlight several concerns, namely: the need for formal laws to be translated into the institutional ‘mindset’ and practice of government organisations to ensure there is a genuine departure from past practices. It was noted that the viability of the extractive sector will largely depend on the Government’s will to stop concession-granting with unmeetable expectations, amongst other things in terms of job creation.
In April 2010 PWYP-Liberia took the decision to replace the original Terms of Reference concerning the coalition’s governance structures which had been adopted in May 2006. PWYP members have increasingly felt the need to decentralise and diversify coalition activities, in order to reinforce the oversight role of Liberian civil society vis-a-vis the government. Accordingly, a tripartite governance structure was adopted to tackle with the problem of garanteeing continuity: a.) General Assembly comprising all member institutions—the Assembly is the highest decision-making body; b.) a seven-member Board of Representatives elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term; and c.) a three-member Secretariat headed by Green Advocates as a permanent member. Additional members include a Finance Officer and a Project Officer. The Chairman of the Board is the official spokesman of the Coalition and is responsible for taking leadership in providing technical expertise in the documentation of the Coalition’s activities under the EITI.