President Weah Constitutes Multi Stakeholders Group Amid LEITI’s Suspension

MONROVIA, Montserrado – President George Weah has finalized the reestablishment of the Multi-Stakeholder Steering Group of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiatives, one month after EITI suspended Liberia’s membership. EITI is the global standard for promoting open and accountable management of extractive resources.

Weah recently appointed representatives of stakeholder institutions to serve as members of the MSG.

According to the Executive Mansion, the president designated C. Mike Donyen and Gesler Murray as chair and co-chair of the MSG, respectively.

Name Institution
Baryou Wallace Liberia Labor Congress
Esiaka B. Konneh Liberia Gold/ Diamond Broker & Dealers Assoc.
Celecia Danuwieli Publish What You Pay
Daniel Nyankonah, Jr. Press Union of Liberia
Ansu Sekou Konneh Western Cluster Limited
E. Ekema A. Witherspoon, I Liberia Timber Association
Elvis G. Morris Golden Veroleum Liberia
Eric N. Swen Arcelor Mittal
Raymond Gwenigale Firestone Liberia

According to the act that established LEITI, the MSG is the authorized body responsible for managing and implementing activities and programs of LEITI, including the recruitment and dismissal of the head and deputy head of the secretariat. The new group would replace a previous one which saw its tenure end since last October.

In September, the EITI board announced Liberia’s suspension because of the country’s failure to publish its EITI report for the fiscal period ending June 2016 on July 1, this year. The board also rejected a request from the government to extend the reporting deadline.

The board noted that it denied Liberia’s request for an extension because a new steering group had not been constituted. It promised to lift the suspension only if the country’s outstanding EITI report is endorsed by the MSG and published within six months of the deadline on December 31 this year.

EITI’s acting executive director, Eddie Rich, disclosed that the group’s international secretariat was ready to support Liberia to return on its track, but encouraged the government to reconstitute the MSG.

“We encourage the government to consult all the relevant stakeholders and ensure that they are adequately represented in Liberia’s EITI multi-stakeholders’ group, in accordance with the EITI standard,” Rich said.

Featured photo by Zeze Ballah

Gbatemah Senah

Gbatemah is a graduate of the University of Liberia and a recipient of the Jonathan P. Hicks Scholarship for Mass Communications. In 2017, Senah won three Press Union of Liberia awards: Women's Rights Reporter of the Year, Legislative Reporter of the Year, and Land Rights Reporter of the Year. In 2018, he was also recognized as the Land Rights Reporter of the Year.

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