News: Joint Statement: Africa Mining Vision: CSOs and government make progress to develop the African Mineral Governance Framework
March 30, 2016.
Statement prepared by: Tax Justice Network-Africa, Publish What You Pay, Southern Africa Resource Watch, and Oxfam
Monday 28th March, 2016
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – 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.
The African Mining Vision seeks to foster a transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development. This sustainable growth should move away from a revenue first model of extractive-led development to that of mineral- focused, that places development front and center of the mineral value chain, including upstream, downstream and sidestream opportunities for transforming the sector to an engine for structural transformation through industrialization and diversification. African countries did not benefit from the boom and has experience deindustrialization as well as lack of progressivity in fiscal instruments including illicit leakages. Yet, seven years after African leaders adopted the AMV at their February 2009 Summit, very few countries have aligned their minerals policy to the reform agenda, which seeks to stimulate a paradigm shift in mineral resource governance. However, these recent developments have ignited renewed efforts to move towards implementation of the AMV. In 2015, the AMDC announced an AMV compact with the private sector. Earlier this March, the AMDC hosted a technical workshop to draft an African Mineral Governance Framework to support the implementation and monitoring of the AMV.
It is against this backdrop that the African Union Commission (AUC) and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) convened a continent wide two-day high level roundtable on March 21-22, 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to further develop and refine the African Minerals Governance Framework (AMGF ) for the AMV. The roundtable brought about 120 participants from various African governments, the AU, UNECA, AMDC, Pan African institutions and civil society.
The monitoring framework addresses all seven main pillars of the AMV, namely the fiscal regime and revenue management; geological and mineral information systems; building human and institutional capacity; artisanal and small-scale mining; mineral sector governance; linkages, investment and diversification; and environment and social issues. Civil Society Pushes for Stronger Standards in the AMGF
Some of the key characteristics and principles civil society want to see captured in the the framework to achieve the overall goal of the AMV include the following:
Important Considerations to Carry Forward – The road ahead
While civil society is supportive of the development of AMGF, several areas remained unresolved and require further attention following the Roundtable. Overall, the lack of government and private sector participation in the Roundtable is concerning. In order for the AMGF to be effectively implemented requires the equal commitment and involvement by civil society, government and private sector. Civil society calls for deeper commitments from government and the private sector in this process to develop the Framework. Within the Framework itself, several areas were identified that required further clarification and consideration. These include:
Although it was argued that consultation happens at different level and is very context and issue specific, FPIC is an important principle that protects the rights of communities who are normally rendered vulnerable because of mining operations. The Framework should continue to uphold the commit to FPIC as articulated in the AMV.
Moving forward, it is critical that an implementation roadmap be clearly outlined and communicated to all stakeholders. The voice of civil society was noted as important and as such the engagement in this process should continue through the efforts of organized groups such as the Alternative Mining Indaba, Third World Network, Publish What You Pay, Southern Africa Resource Watch, International Alliance on Natural Resources, Tax Justice Network and Oxfam, among others, who continue to play a key role.
Key stakeholders will convene again in April in Accra, Ghana to finalize the AMGF. A progress report on the Framework will be presented to the AU Ministerial Conference for Mines and Mineral Resources taking place in May of this year. It will then be tested in four pilot countries and go through a multi-stakeholder review before final endorsement by the Ministers of Mineral Resources in May 2017./end