General Principles and Guidelines

 

Minerals are strategic for any country. They are finite, non-renewable and a major source of revenue for development. The management of these precious resources and their optimal and economical use are matters of national importance and interest. Therefore their exploitation must be incorporated into national development plans and strategies. These general principles will guide the extractive industries’ value chain at the country and regional level.

Country Level Principles and Guidelines

Claude Kabemba's picture

Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW)

January 13th, 2014

 

Minerals are strategic for any country. They are finite, non-renewable and a major source of revenue for development. The management of these precious resources and their optimal and economical use are matters of national importance and interest. Therefore their exploitation must be incorporated into national development plans and strategies. These general principles will guide the extractive industries’ value chain at the country and regional level.

Country Level Principles and Guidelines

i.            The development of a country’s natural resources must be driven by national development priorities that are people-centred, locally-driven and sustainable;

ii.            A country must have put in place all necessary institutions and regulations before extraction activities start;

iii.            Extractive industry policies must be long-term but flexible to cater for changing internal and external conditions;

iv.            The development of extractive industries must be within the context of promoting and enhancing economic diversification, development, growth and poverty reduction;

v.            All SADC member states must adhere to the rule of law and promote good governance and democratic principles, which must permeate through natural resource management;

vi.            The safety and health of workers and mining communities as well as the security of  human rights defenders and activists working on the extractive sector must be protected and guaranteed;

vii.            SADC governments must promote local beneficiation in order to unlock the intrinsic value of mineral resources and enhance value addition;

viii.            SADC governments must strengthen their legal provisions relating to contracts to ensure that all mining contracts comply with a predetermined national legislative format, including measures to override stability agreements that prevent future governments from re-negotiating contract provisions to the disadvantage of the citizens (possibly including limits on the length of the contracts);

ix.            SADC governments must invest in research and development throughout the extractive industry value chain;

x.            SADC governments must promote a people-centred approach that creates a more conducive political and socio-economic environment for developing the extractive industry;

xi.            The corporate practice of hoarding mining revenues outside the borders of a country where mining is taking place militates against the balance of payments of that country and should be discouraged; and

xii.            Governments must legislate that foreign-owned extractive industry firms should list on the local stock exchange as a mechanism for encouraging local participation and ownership in the extractive industry.

Regional Level Principles and Guidelines:

i.            All SADC member states must ratify, domesticate and implement the SADC Mining Protocol;

ii.            SADC countries must adhere to the African Union Mining Vision;

iii.            The SADC Secretariat must be mandated to facilitate the exchange of information on extractive industry companies and their behaviour among member states;

iv.            SADC countries must desist from entering into negotiations with mining companies when the country is experiencing civil war or local conflict or where the legitimacy of the government is being disputed;

v.            In a country experiencing civil war or local conflict, all mining companies must desist from entering into an agreement to conduct mining operations or, if already operating, they must temporarily stop their activities;

vi.            Extractive companies must abstain from using mineral resources to undermine constitutional order and political stability in the countries in which they operate;

vii.            Pressure should be exerted on international companies that fail to adhere to these standards by civil society groups, international institutions such the World Bank, and foreign states where they are listed or at general shareholder meetings, or any other avenues that are available in order to ensure that companies desist from violating these principles;

viii.            SADC governments should agree on issues around migrant working conditions, including health and lodging; and

ix.            SADC must create provisions for the after work life of migrant workers, including insurance payable in their host country. 

 

About the author(s)

Claude Kabemba is the Director of the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW). In 2006, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) asked him to spearhead the formation of SARW. He holds a PhD in International Relations (Political economy) at the University of the Witwatersrand (Thesis: Democratisation and the Political Economy of a Dysfunctional State: The Case of the Democratic Republic of Congo). Before joining SARW, he worked at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Electoral institute of Southern Africa as a Chief Research Manager and Research Manager respectively. He has also worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Centre for Policy Studies as Policy Analyst. Dr. Kabemba’s main areas of research interest include: Political economy of Sub Saharan Africa with focus on Southern and Central Africa looking specifically on issues of democratization and governance, natural resources governance, election politics, citizen participation, conflicts, media, political parties, civil society and social policies. He has consulted for international organizations such Oxfam, UNHCR, The Norwegian People’s Aid, Electoral Commissions and the African Union. He has undertaken various evaluations related to the work of Electoral Commissions and civil society groups interventions in the electoral process in many African countries. He is regularly approached by both local and international media for comments on political and social issues on the continent. His publication record spans from books (as editor), book chapters, journal articles, monographs, research reports, and newspaper articles.

Contacts

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