By Claire Wanja
The International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) has recommended all auditing firms operating in the mineral due diligence field in the Great Lakes Region should be accredited with the ICGLR Audit Committee.
During a Regional Conference of Mineral Exporting Companies in the Great Lakes Region convened in Nairobi last week to sensitize and raise awareness on the ICGLR Third Party Auditing System vis-à-vis Regional Mineral Exporters roles, and responsibilities in the implementation of the Regional Certification Mechanism (RCM), it was also resolved that more mineral tracking service providers be encouraged to operate in the region for purposes of a healthy competition.
The exporters also called for ICGLR to enter into negotiation with mineral tracking service providers to bring about accountability and transparency for more responsible mineral exploitation and trade in the region. They also agreed to establish a regional platform to enhance cooperation among companies and open interstate business.
The Conference was officially opened by Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Minerals of the Republic of Kenya Mr. Dan Mesis who thanked the Conference Secretariat for choosing Kenya as the venue for this landmark Conference.
The ICGLR Executive Secretary Ambassador Zachary Muburi-Muita thanked the Government of Kenya for hosting the meeting and underscored the importance of collective commitment and understanding the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism and its implementation.
In his closing statement, the ICGLR Executive Secretary, concurred with the Regional Exporters’ recommendations to renegotiate mineral levy rates paid to mineral tracking service providers, harmonize taxes across the region; accredit and use qualified and competent auditors, and promote regional expertise in mineral tracking service provision.
He also welcomed the commitment of Regional Mineral Exporters to establish their own regional forum where they would frequently meet to reinforce cooperation among companies and jointly address issues of regional/international dimension.
He further stressed that increased commitment from mineral exporters and other stakeholders would result in a more sustainable, effective, and credible mineral auditing system, one of the pillars for delinking of mineral exploitation and trade from armed.