This report measures and compares SADC countries capacity and ability to manage the mining sector. Today’s governments are challenged with creating new approaches to governance that enable them to better exploit the developmental potential provided by mineral resources. Establishing regulatory frameworks and state capacity to ensure that activities of mining companies are compatible with efforts to promote inclusive and sustainable development are central to this challenge.
The reasons behind SARW’s appointment are amongst others the various activities conducted by the organisation since 2010 to tackle the illegal exploitation of natural resources in the Great Lakes Region, including the Alternative Summit held in Kinshasa in October 2010, on the margins of ICGLR Heads of State Special Summit.
Opening Statement by Dr Claude Kabemba, Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch, on behalf of Civil Society
Her Excellency Mrs Fatima Haram Acyl, Commissioner for Trade and Industry (AUC)
Ms Fatima Denton, Director Special Initiatives Division at the UNECA
Representative of UNDP
Representative of the African Development Bank
Representative of African Governments
Ambassadors and Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Colleagues from civil society
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The ongoing collapse of mineral prices on the international market, growing debt crisis and dwindling revenue to finance socio-economic development in African countries has refocused attention on how to optimally use the continent’s vast mineral sector through speedy implementation of the African Mining Vision.
OSISA, through this project, will analyse mining legislations of 12 SADC countries to identify similarities, differences, innovations and best practices for peer-learning. The project will also update the SADC standard mining legislation to ensure that it is in tune with the African mining vision and emerging international norms and standards. The project will look into mining policies of each country, bearing in mind that Southern African countries have never harmonised their mining legislations or policies despite the existence of a regional harmonisation policy framework.
There is expectation that banks undertake due diligence on their potential clients before they can fund them to support social and environmental accountability. Mining activities, if not properly managed can destroy the environment, illegally displace people; pollute air, soil, and water, as well as become the source of illicit financial flows.
Extractive Industries represent potential wealth for SADC’s economies, with a variety of benefits, including industrialisation through value addition to minerals, job creation, export earnings, technology and skills transfer. For most SADC countries, mineral extraction and trade are not bringing in these benefits.
Hypotheses about the resource curse hold that natural resources have distinctive properties that hinder development. A measure of natural resources should capture these properties and make it possible place countries on a continuum from resource-poor to resource-rich. Arguably what is most distinctive about the resources in question is that they derive from “natural” endowments that, because of their scarcity, can typically be sold for prices that far exceed the costs of extracting them.
Are sub-Saharan Africa’s abundant mineral and fuel resources undermining prospects for development in the region? An inﬂuential body of research asserts that natural resources curse the countries that possess them with a host of undesirable outcomes — from economic stagnation, to authoritarian rule, to violent conﬂict. Africa is no stranger to these maladies. With international commodity prices booming, its dependence on resource exports is unlikely to diminish anytime soon. Is Africa suffering from a resource curse?