Citizens for Justice attended the African Mineral Governance Framework Roundtable organised by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The objectives of this roundtable discussion were as follows;
- To catalyse debate on the emerging policy landscape for Mineral sector governance in Africa, and to examine in detail, the responses of various stakeholders in government, private sector and civil society to this new policy consensus.
- To critically deepen discussion on the concept of an African Mineral Governance Framework (AMGF) focusing on strengths, weaknesses, and challenges.
- To identify criteria for and develop a set of practical options, methodologies, thematic indicators across the mineral value chain to better support the framing and design of the AMGF;
- To discuss the proposed implementation forms and systems, data collection tools and instruments and methodology and agree on a framework for better results.
- To define a Roadmap and appoint a Multi-stakeholder Taskforce for the development of a cross-cutting African Framework on Mineral Sector Governance, under the ambit of the AMV, and to assign time-bound, institutional responsibilities for the achievement of this goal.
- To identify synergies, and foster collaboration between existing mechanisms for Mineral sector governance within the AU, UNECA, AfDB, UNDP and other Pan-African institutions, RECs, national governments, and civil society, and to make recommendations on subsequent actions and reforms.
The AMV was adopted by Heads of State at the February 2009 AU summit following the October 2008 meeting of African Ministers responsible for Mineral Resources Development. It is Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty. The AMV is informed by the outcomes of several initiatives and efforts made at sub-regional, continental and global levels to formulate policy and regulatory frameworks to maximize the development outcomes of mineral resources exploitation.
The African Mineral Governance Framework is anchored on the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). The African Mineral Governance Framework is designed to support the transformation of Africa’s natural wealth into long-term sustainable development by focusing on the entire minerals value chain from the point of extraction to revenue utilisation, elevating important issues such as Free, Prior and Informed Consent of affected communities, artisanal mining, and illicit financial flows, while harmonising parallel extractive industries governance frameworks at the sub-regional and continental level.
The Roundtable brought together 120 experts working in or around the Mineral sector in Africa, drawn from the AU and other Pan-African institutions such as the AMDC/UNECA, UNDP, AfDB, regional economic communities (RECs), Pan-African Parliament, NEPAD and the African Court on Human and Peoples Rights, national policymakers, Mineral companies, financial and other ancillary private companies, civil society and affected communities, community based organisations, and multilateral agencies.
During the two day workshop, participants divided into 7 groups as per the 7 pillars of the governance framework namely; Fiscal Regime and Revenue Management, Geological and Mineral Information Systems, Building Human and Institution Capacity, Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM), Mineral Sector Governance, Linkages, Investment and Diversification and Environment and Social Issues. Each of these pillars has a desired outcome and a list of questions that serve as a guideline for each country to be in line with the framework. During the group discussions, each group scrutinized the questions to see if these questions addressed key concern issues in that particular area.
Later, a plenary session followed where each group presented the additional questions and comments made to the draft questions. It was noted during this plenary session that Gender issues needed to be mainstreamed all through the framework.
Civil society including Citizens for Justice believes that the AMV has the potential to ensure natural resources contribute to equitable sustainable development, and that the framework can be used to monitor government’s implementation of the Vision. Following the meeting, civil society issued a statement on its position and areas that should be addressed to ensure the AMV fulfills its mandate. The statement can be read here.