Bilal, S. and I. Ramdoo. 2014. Thematic focus: extractive sector African perspective. GREAT insights, Volume 3, Issue 7. July/August 2014.
The nexus between the extractive sector and development is a complex one which has commonly been addressed through two prisms: the governance (or management) of extractive resources, and the linkages between the extractive sector with the rest of the economy.
The international community has paid increasing attention to the governance dimension of natural resources. These include regulatory acts (e.g. US Dodd Frank, EU Directives), code of conducts and other initiatives (e.g. EITI, OECD Due Diligence Guidance, recent EU Communication on conflict minerals), as well as interventions by donors and international institutions such as the IMF and World Bank.
This attention is necessary, as there is no inclusive and sustainable development possible without good enough governance and management of natural resources and the revenues they generate. But this is certainly not enough to achieve transformative and inclusive development outcomes. Too often still, the extractive sector remains an enclave in the domestic economy, with insufficient concerns for its interaction with other sectors and policies.
It is this challenge that African governments and regions aim to address: how to better harness the potential benefits from the extractive sector, not only by improving its governance, in the broad sense, but more importantly, by stimulating synergies and linkages to leverage the extractive sector for inclusive economic transformation.
This issue of GREAT insights addresses some of the key questions and challenges at stake, looking at the continental and some sub-regional perspectives and concrete actions towards the realisation of this objective. In an exclusive interview, Commissioner Acyl from the African Union Commission highlights the critical role of the extractive sector in Africa’s industrial transformation and the leading role played by the AUC in this endeavour. Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary of UNECA unpacks the game-changing role that the extractive sector can play in transforming the economic landscape in African countries, if key structural factors are addressed.
To further stimulate our reflection, the issue also zooms into national initiatives, notably in the case of Liberia, Madagascar and DR Congo focusing in particular on reforms and other initiatives to support the transformation process, on the foundations of sustainable dialogue, on environmental concerns and on the challenges facing artisanal miners. On the regional front, the complementary role of regional integration to further enhance economic transformation using the extractive sector is highlighted. Finally, from the private sector perspective, the key question of how the industry can contribute to development through the concept of shared value to the benefit of the community is addressed. As always, we hope you will find the articles insightful and welcome your comments and suggestions.
Dr. San Bilal (Editor), Head of the Economic Transformation Programme, ECDPM.
Isabelle Ramdoo (Guest editor), Deputy Head of the Economic Transformation Programme.
This article was published in GREAT insights Volume 3, Issue 7 (July/August 2014).