Solwezi, September 27, 2018: The USAID funded Fostering Accountability and Transparency in Zambia (FACT Zambia) program has launched a project which aims at increasing citizens awareness and engagement on the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) mechanism in Zambia. The FACT-EITI project was officially launched by North Western Povincial Permanent Secretary Ephraim Mateyo at a ceremony held on Tuesday September 25, 2018 at Solwezi Lodge, in Solwezi.
The FACT Extractive industries project will work with local civil society organisations (CSOs), in collaboration with the Zambia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (ZEITI) for enhanced public awareness and improved partnerships in the districts of Kasempa, Solwezi and Kalumbila in NorthWestern Province, and in Kitwe, Chingola and Mufulira districts on the Copperbelt Province. To ensure effective stakeholder engagement in delivering the planned objectives, the FACT Programme’s EITI interventions will be implemented in partnership with ZEITI Secretariat in the Ministry of Mines; Civil Society for Poverty Reduction (CSPR), Zambia Extractive Industry Transparency Alliance (EITA), and the Panos Institute Southern Africa.
The project is aimed at supporting civil society oversight in public service delivery and enha
nced citizen awareness and engagement on the EITI mechanism in Zambia.
The initiative is responding to the following three main objectives:
To achieve the above objectives, the FACT project partners will employ a vast array of interactive and participatory community driven approaches to expand citizens awareness of the Zambia EITI mechanism, and to contribute to increased access to simplified, easily and usable EITI information.
The launch was essentially to introduce the project to key stakeholders from the provincial government, the district authorities, the mining companies operating in these locations and the affected communities. In his opening remarks the Africa Regional Director for Counterpart International, Mr. Mutale Chilangwa emphasized the importance of the initiative in complementing the efforts of government and civil society to ensure that the mining sector contributes to national development.
“The skillset gained from the implementation of this project will contibuet to the development of Zambia, even after the project,” said Mr. Chilangwa. “The project will endeavor to compliment efforts of government and civil society to contribute to improve service delivery in Zambia. We are grateful for the support we are receiving from various stakeholders, and look forward to collaborating with the Zambia partners.”
In his launch speech the Provincial Permanent Secretary Mr. Ephraim Mateyo said the FACT EITI project was in line with government efforts to ensure that the prudent use of natural resources contributes to sustainable development and poverty reduction in resource rich countries, such as Zambia.
“I am glad to note that Counterpart International and their partners are building upon already existing efforts to empower residents in mining host communities, to strengthen transparency and accountability in the mining sector, to ensure local communities participate and benefit from mining activities,” said Mr. Mateyo.
The launch represents the commitment of the Government of the Republic of Zambia in ensuring that the revenues from the mining sector are channeled to improve the lives of the affected communities, and also ensure greater participation of affected communities. For FACT Zambia, this is an opportunity to foster greater collaboration and partnerships as espoused in the EITI mechanism and support citizen engagement through capacity building, simplified and translated information, facilitating engagement through public debates and discussions, drama presentations and other information for mass messaging and civic awareness.
Additional information on the project can be requested from Ms. Chilufya Kasutu, Chief of Party at 0211-254450 or email .
Notes for editors
· FACT is a five-and a half year project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Counterpart International.
· The FACT project seeks to enhance the capacity of civil society organizations (CSOs) to increase opportunities for citizens to engage effectively with government and other stakeholders.
· FACT is will contributing to USAID’s priority of contributing to an improved Enabling Governance Environment in Zambia by increasing citizen demand for transparent and accountable service delivery.