Position paper on mining reforms in Zimbabwe (01/12/15)
That mining holds an important locus to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery is well known. Both government and the civil society in the country generally agree that if managed well, the abundant natural resources in the country have the ability to turn the economic fortunes of the country.
The current government’s economic blue print the Zimbabwe Agenda for Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASET) state that the judicious exploitation of natural resources will alleviate the country’s economic woes. Although there is huge potential within the mining sector and the existence of a progressive constitution, real development remains illusive. Part of the reason why there is limited economic growth and development is weak natural resources governance that is characterised by limited transparency and accountability, an impious policy and legal environment with a progressive constitution that exists besides many acts that are yet to be revoked and alligned.
Another challenge within the mining sector is the inadequate participation of communities and other stakeholders with an interest in the sector such as civil society organisations. Effective governance systems, capacity to administer and monitor the mining sector, and horizontal and vertical linkages with other sectors of the economy remain prerequisites for resource exploitation to contribute to growth and development.
As a way of outlining some of these obtaining challenges, the Publish What You Pay (PWYP) Zimbabwe Coalition has put together this position paper which outlines some of their key asks on essential reforms that should be considered in the mining sector. Given its diversity, the coalition’s membership has compiled submissions from the perspective of their institutional work and comparative advantage. Given the increasing pressure for foreign direct investments and need for increased revenue, the government needs to ensure that the operational environment allows smart investments that unlock the sector’s potential without undermining human rights and the developmental prospects of the country.