African Countries Urged to Map Corruption Risks in Mining Sector

September 7, 2016 by Staff Reporter

By Malawi News Agency

Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI) of Africa has
called on African countries to make use of the available Natural Resource Charter to conduct a cost benefit analysis before carrying out mining activities.

The call was made Monday by Emmanuel Kuyole Deputy Director of NRGI of Africa during the Africa Regional Extractive Industries Knowledge Hub (REIK Hub) Summer School on governance of oil, gas and mining revenues, taking place at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public
Administration (GIMPA) in Achimota, Accra,Ghana.

The two-week long summer school which attracted participants such as; policy
makers, civil society activists, lawyers and Journalists aims at developing regional capacity on issues concerning the extractive
industry.

Through the training, participants will also access consultancy and technical assistance that help reform systems and procedures of
local and national governments.

Delivering the keynote address during the opening ceremony, Kuyole noted that the discovery of oil, gas and other mineral resources is a great blessing, judging by the level of development that has taken place in the West, the Arab World, the Middle East,Asia, South Africa and Botswana.

However, he bemoaned the trend in most African Countries, pointing out that poverty is visible in places where such minerals are
found.

He cited, some drivers to these problems as; the lack of political will on the part of African governments, lack of human resources,misuse of mining revenues and the deliberate denial of public participation due
to perceived prejudices and sometimes official corruption of the political leadership and bureaucrats.

Kuyole stated that the mining sector is overwhelmed with a couple of problems ranging from the absence of comprehensive
and workable national policies regulating mining operations and the lack of capacity and effective structures.

“There is need for countries to follow the Natural Resources Charter and map corruption risks at every stage. It is not a secret that there is a corruption at each
stage during the negotiations of extracting minerals.

“To benefit from the extractive industry, countries need to follow international governance. Complex chain of decisions
have to be made right in Africa if
communities in are to benefit. How do countries arrive at a decision to extract when citizens will not benefit. It is high time
African countries put in place legal
institutions and policies that ensure accountability and transparency,” he said.

With the unimpressive experiences in oil producing countries like Nigeria, Congo,
Angola and Sudan, Kuyole posed the question as to whether African countries need to venture into the extractive industry.

“It is not an easy matter”, he said, noting that the state will go a long way to start addressing the mountain of problems that
have characterized the sector for so long, and which in turn have severely undermined Africans’ enjoyment of their huge mineral
wealth.

He emphasized local ownership and the need for local value adding, stressing that local capacities should be strengthened in order to properly regulate the sector.

On his part, Henri Gebauer GIZ Team Leader for Good Financial Governance Programme in Ghana described extractive resources as
non renewable hence the need for their judicious utilization.

He said Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies must be treated seriously, warning that governments, policy makers
and implementers in resource-rich countries in Africa must ensure that mining activities are not conducted in a manner that will
cause the people who are the hardest hit to rise up.

According to him, “Minerals can be a blessing, but can also be a curse in disguise.”

He said GIZ believes that learning and innovation are critical to development, and therefore expressed happiness that his
organization is partnering with other organizations to organize the yearly summer school sessions.

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