The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is calling for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) to terminate the membership of Switzerland-based commodities and mining multinational, Glencore.
This call comes amid Glencore’s recent guilty plea to multiple charges of market manipulation, bribery and corruption.
Pleading guilty on May 24 following an investigation by Brazil, the U.K. and the U.S., Glencore’s actions included more than USD100 million worth of bribes to officials in Brazil, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Congo, South Sudan and Venezuela between 2007 and 2018, with penalties for market manipulation and corruption totaling USD1.2 billion to the U.S. alone.
As the U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York stated, “The scope of this criminal bribery scheme is staggering. Glencore paid bribes to secure oil contracts. Glencore paid bribes to avoid government audits. Glencore bribed judges to make lawsuits disappear. At bottom, Glencore paid bribes to make money – hundreds of millions of dollars. And it did so with the approval, and even encouragement, of its top executives.”
In accepting the guilty plea, it is undisputed that while committing the aforementioned crimes, Glencore was a member of the EITI – an initiative that prides itself in being a global standard for the good governance of oil, gas and mineral resources.
Glencore’s actions, therefore, directly infringe upon the mission, values and objectives of the EITI, with the company violating several of the rules and regulations set out by the initiative.
By engaging in bribery and corruption, Glencore violated the code of conduct of EITI which would see members ‘observing the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, acting with honesty and propriety.’
“The termination of Glencore’s membership, therefore, will not only promote justice in the form of retribution deterrence, incapacitation and reparations for the admitted crimes but set a precedence for other members, directly stating that such actions will not be tolerated,” AEC said.
“The Chamber urges the EITI to be firm and clear in protecting the African extractive industry. This is the time for EITI to stand up for the very mission the organization prides itself in: transparency and accountability. Glencore has not only violated the rules of the initiative itself but has imposed immoral, unacceptable and illegal actions on Africa’s energy industry.
“The termination of Glencore’s membership is critical. By doing so, EITI will signal that the crimes Glencore has admitted to are not condoned or tolerated by EITI,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.