EITI’s acceptance of its membership bid
Redwan lashes out at HRW for opposing approval
Addis Ababa, (Turkish News Agency) March 20, 2014 –Ethiopia
welcomes approval given to its bid for membership with the Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
Later on Wednesday the Oslo-based EITI approved the
applications of Ethiopia, the United States, and Papua New Guinea for joining
in the leading global initiative to combat corruption in the energy and mining
The Minister in Charge of Government Communications Affairs
Office Redwan Hussein told Anadolu on Thursday that his government has been
striving proactively to achieve waste-free, transparent and corruption free
industrial system in line with its pro-poor development approach.
“Ethiopia is happy to join in international efforts to fight
corruption in the energy and mining industries,” Redwan said in a telephone
interview with Anadolu.
Ethiopia has been bidding for membership with EITI since 2010
while Human Rights Watch was lobbying to prevent EITI from approving the
country’s bid on alleged human rights abuses. HRW was quick also to decry the
Initiative’s approval of Ethiopia’s membership bid.
“Human Rights Watch’s opposition does not emanate from a true
desire to stand watch for human rights, theirs is only ideological,” Redwan
“There have always been interest groups who have been trying
to slander Ethiopia in connection with its human rights record and Human Rights
Watch clearly has been under the influence of these groups,” the country’s top
communication official commented.
“Their campaign is to falsify what has been going on in
Ethiopia on the ground which is development and democratic system building,”
Ethiopia would be striving to build a sound industrial system
that was fair and equitable, according to the minister. “Industries will
catalyze Ethiopia’s endeavors towards fast-track growth.”
The New York-based Human Rights Watch, which had asked the
EITI board to reject Ethiopia’s membership bid, reportedly said the EITI’s
reputation had been damaged.
“Human Rights Watch people do not even know where in the
globe Ethiopia is,” Redwan quipped.
Home to Sub-Saharan Africa’s second largest population,
Ethiopia is among the continent’s fastest growing economies and its mining
industry is increasingly adding value to the economy.
But the opposition and rights campaigners accuse the
government of stifling dissent and maltreatment of political detainees,
allegations the government strongly denies.