The case for Minerals Africa Development Institute
According to 2011 Report – Minerals and Africa’s Development (The International Study Group Report on Africa’s Mineral Regimes), produced by United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and African Union Commission (AUC), the paradox of African mining lies in its historical structural deficiencies. The sector’s key characteristics-and challenges-are those of an enclave industry. Most of the industry has very weak links with the rest of the national economy, the mines’ ownership and operation are in the hands of foreign companies, most of the minerals are exported in raw form and the industry imports most of its inputs from abroad.
The report argues that the enclave mineral economy is a colonial legacy that post-independence resource nationalisations (through new state mining enterprises) failed to redress. Subsequent World Bank-supported reforms, which were designed to attract foreign private risk capital, eliminated the state’s direct role in production and further entrenched the enclave economy.
Hence the search for a new mineral development approach which accelerated after the start of the commodity-price boom around the year 2002. Thus, some of the central premises of that report and the African Mining Vision (AMV) are that mineral operations must constantly be re-evaluated for their contribution to broad and long-term development goals; that mineral operations need not and ought not be enclave activities; and that restructuring African mining from its enclave nature is the fundamental task of African policymakers and those committed to having it play a transformative role.
• Optimizing mineral linkages needs a conscious policy approach
• Opportunities still exist in the global and African mining industry
• Boosting the contribution from artisanal and small-scale mining
• Preventing and managing mining impacts, particularly environmental
• Strengthening corporate social responsibility, or rather Responsible Business Conduct and Responsible investment using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards
• Improving governance at all levels
• Assess implications of international trade and investment regimes
• Harnessing the benefits of regional cooperation and integration
Minerals Africa Development Institute will work in this context and space and will seek to support African countries in mineral resource development.