Mining for development – Volume 6, Issue 3 (July/August 2017)

This issue of GREAT Insights brings together a wide range of perspectives, taking mining as a starting point to address more fundamental dimensions of the sustainable development agenda.

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    Embracing the complexity of mining for development – Editorial
    Dr. San Bilal, ECDPM
    Extractive resources have the potential to bring significant wealth to a country. Whether this translates into sustainable development is a totally different ball game. The rich-endowment of natural resources is often a mixed blessing, and at times a genuine curse.

    Industrialisation and local content

    Mining for Africa’s development
    Olusegun Obasanjo, Greg Mills, and Dickie Davis,  Brenthurst Foundation
    Africa’s all-important mining sector is in crisis. At its root is a lack of trust between mining companies, governments and civil society. A failure to tackle this crisis will result in serious, adverse implications for both economic growth and employment prospects at the very moment the continent’s need for jobs is rapidly increasing.

    From Africa to Country Mining Visions
    Isabelle Ramdoo, African Minerals Development Centre
    In implementing country mining to transform their economies, African countries should foster the development of inclusive supply chains and stimulate upstream production linkages, including by tapping on the potential of mining procurement and designing national suppliers’ development programmes.

    When local content requirements meet technological innovations
    Joe Amoako-Touffour, African Center for Economic Transformation
    The robots are coming to the mine nearest you. Technological innovations are shaping our future and changing the old way of doing things, including the productive systems in resource extraction.

    Five key linkages to enable resource-led growth
    Mark Beare, Oxford Policy Management
    A robust governance framework in resource-rich countries to promote the linkages to be strengthened for sustainable and diverse economic development is critical to realise the benefits from resource-led growth.

    Blueprints for sustainable industrialisation in West Africa: Lessons from resource-rich Nigeria
    Amy Jadesimi, LADOL
    Sustainable industrialisation is the key to unlocking inclusive prosperity in West Africa. Nigerian companies like LADOL provide valuable examples of how the private sector can drive development in these resource-rich, high-growth, low-income markets.

    Mining and sustainable development

    Local communities can reap better benefits from mining if market and fiscal channels are strong
    Punam Chuhan-Pole and Andrew L. Dabalen, World Bank
    Transforming resource wealth into well-being remains an important issue in Africa’s resource-abundant economies. Most benefits from extractives in Africa are likely to flow through national treasuries. But do local communities situated close to extraction sites gain any additional benefits? Evidence from the boom in large-scale gold mining in three countries in Africa suggests that mining communities experience on average positive, but limited welfare gains in the near term. The benefits that come from opening a mine (or mines) are mostly transmitted through the normal functioning of markets, primarily through labour and land.

    Between global and hyperlocal: A territorial approach to partnerships in mining
    Alfonso Medinilla and Karim Karaki, ECDPM
    The transformative nature of mining calls for an integrated territorial approach to multi-stakeholder partnerships and a better task division between companies, authorities, civil society and development partners.

    Responsible mining: Partnership to help achieve the SDGs
    Pam Bell, Lawrence Dechambenoit, Rosie Donachie, Arne Koeppel, and Richard Morgan
    Partnerships in the mining sector can contribute to sustainable development. A group of large mining companies is working towards such partnerships at a European level.

    On the political economy of reforms in the extractive sector
    San Bilal, ECDPM
    Poor or inappropriate policies, governance and institutional structures have commonly been blamed for the resource curse that plagues so many developing countries. Instead of focusing on mainly technical remedies, more effort should be dedicated to designing reforms that are incentive-compatible with key stakeholders that can drive or hinder such reforms, and to promoting initiatives that can enhance domestic incentives towards a pro-development path in resource-rich countries.

    African mining, employment and women’s empowerment
    Anja Tolonen, Barnard College, Columbia University
    Extractive industries can play an important role in economic development in poorer countries, but its effects on gender equality have received little focus. This article discusses findings from recent empirical papers exploring the effect of large-scale mining on women’s empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    Human capital

    From mines and wells to well-built minds: Turning Sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resource wealth into human capital
    Bénédicte de la Brière and Deon Filmer, World Bank
    Sub-Saharan Africa’s natural resource-rich countries should invest some of their rents in the foundations of human capital, a smart strategy to convert finite resource wealth into broad-based long-term development.

    Lack of skilled human capital in resource-rich Africa: The real paradox?
    Nelly Farah Nguegan, International Relations Institute of Cameroon
    The poor level of skills and institutional development in natural resource management observed in most resource-rich African countries comes not only from the lack of incentives to invest in human capital but also from the perverse effects of the international division of labour.

    Due diligence and conflict minerals

    A global initiative to end support to conflict through mineral production and trade
    Louis Maréchal, OECD
    The OECD, together with other international and regional organisations, the global private sector and civil society, has developed a programme to support companies to increase transparency and integrity and address risks in their mineral supply chains.

    Trade as a vehicle of our values and development: The new EU Regulation on conflict minerals
    Signe Ratso, DG Trade, European Commission
    The new EU Regulation on conflict minerals, which entered into force on 8 June, shows how value-based and responsible trade can help conflict regions develop sustainably.

    EU’s ore and metal import flows and engagement towards responsible sourcing in industry supply chains
    Doris Schüler, Oeko-Institut e.V. Institute for Applied Ecology
    Resource-rich countries and the EU are closely connected by complex raw material flows. This article shows the origin of EU metal imports and outlines the related EU responsibility for social and environmental impacts and a higher net-benefit for resource-rich developing countries.

    A high price for cheap electronics
    Théo Jaekel, Vinge Law
    Though an important step in the right direction, the accompanying measures to the EU Regulation on the responsible sourcing of minerals from conflict affected and high-risk areas risk failing to adequately tackle challenges on the ground in source countries.

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