The director of (Southern African Resources Watch) SARW indicated that he is happy to be in Lesotho, especially because it is the first time that his organisation has had a chance to implement a project in Lesotho. The theme of the conference (rethinking the management of mineral resources in Lesotho) should be a guiding tool for the deliberations in this important conference. The intention of the conference is not to humiliate or shame any individual or organisation, but rather to look objectively at the matter at hand, which is how we can together make extractive resources in Lesotho benefit the nation. The role of SARW research and advocay is important for is an important initiative for Southern African because of the resources that the region has been blessed with, and because over time these resources have often been found to become a curse in Southern Africa. When one looks at Southern African cities, one sees high levels of poverty, where ordinary citizens of the region are increasingly excluded from the benefits accruing from the minerals of their countries. It is as though we do not have enough resources to meet the needs of the populace. This raises the question of whether we are managing resources properly. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the rules and regulations governing the extraction of mineral
resources in Lesotho, and to learn from the experiences of neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe which is in crisis over its mineral resources, Namibia, Zambia and Botswana. Community-based organisations (CBOs) have an important role in helping their governments to improve the livelihoods of the populace. The conference aimed to stimulate innovative thinking with regard to the existing initiatives, and to the management of mineral resources in Lesotho.