WEC's Response: No Invitations, Funding for Africans

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Dear Terri,

I have your e-mail of 19 March in which you return to the request that WEC find the resources to pay for 5-6 representatives of civil society to attend our Inga Financing Workshop in London in April.

WEC was asked to hold this workshop on Inga financing issues by its member committees in Africa and the companies who are trying to get to a planning point on Inga 3 and Grand Inga which would set up full consultations with all stakeholders. I invited you  to observe this meeting, at your own expense, because the International Rivers Network has participated in earlier meetings on Inga and can communicate with other civil representatives on such subjects.

While the focus is primarily the input of private banks and equity players in assessing the potential for Inga development, we have also invited the elected officials from Inga, the DRC and other countries to assist us in this evaluation. It is clearly up to the countries involved to propose any other participants they might want to involve in this meeting. They have the obligation to determine the legitimacy of this or that person or organisation from their countries in industrial, financial, social and civil terms.

WEC has not therefore tried to select the individuals from civil society who might be interested in attending this workshop. I told you I was open to providing space for 3-4 people if they have the support of their countries and can cover their own expenses. You informed several people about the workshop and three people claiming civil society credentials have registered. I must now reconfirm with their countries if these registrations can be accepted.

As a non-governmental charity, WEC is in no position to finance the participation of anyone to the Workshop. I made this clear from the beginning of this process. WEC remains committed to ensure that the social, civil and environmental issues related to all aspects of Inga development are properly addressed, but WEC’s direct role in Inga ends with the Worskhop when the Promotion Company and other entities involved in the actual planning and financing of Inga take over. It is these companies and governments who must address how stakeholders from civil society will be consulted in the months and years to come.