OSISA Launches Mineral Governance Barometer

By Dorothy Brislin | April 18th, 2017
Mineral Governance Barometer - Southern Africa
Southern African countries are rich in mineral resources. However, most of them are struggling to maximise the benefits despite the existence of many initiatives at the country, regional and continent levels that promote good governance in the extractive industries. The process has been more of a motion without movement, sound and fury without the expected significant impact as environmental destruction, human rights abuses, and displacement of communities caused by mining activities abound. The sector is also consumed by corruption and exclusion.
 
In an effort to understand the reasons behind poor performance, OSISA initiated a project called Mineral Resource Governance Barometer to measure states’ capacity to govern the mining sector in the region. The exploitation of the minerals needs a capable state with institutions capable of enforcing laws and legislation. The Mineral Governance Barometer measures SADC states’ capacity to regulate and implement policies. Across the region, countries have put in place progressive legislation borrowing from international best practices. 
 
The Barometer takes stock of mining regulations in place at the end of 2015, the extent to which they are implemented, and features of supporting institutions. It is based on the observation that, while regulations impose obligations on mining companies, in doing so they directly impose obligations on the state to monitor and enforce compliance. They also indirectly impose obligations on citizens and civil society to hold the state and mining companies accountable. Understanding mineral governance as an adoption of regulations, it requires attention to implementation, and understanding implementation requires attention to state capacity and accountability.  The Barometer identifies two state attributes that are critical for better management of mineral resources: state capacity and state accountability. The report analyses the capacity of each state in SADC in a comparative manner.
 
Currently there is no comprehensive and systematic body of knowledge that analyses the sector in a comparative way in the region; the Barometer has thus started creating learning points on how countries are managing their mining and related sectors. The Mineral Governance Barometer is a compilation of empirical indicators of the extent and quality of mineral governance in Southern Africa. It looks at state capacity of the following countries: Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 
 
The indicators measure state capacity and accountability mechanisms in the sector, as well as the scope and implementation of regulatory frameworks across four main areas - national economic and fiscal linkages, community impact, labour, and the environment. They also look at additional themes of contracts, and of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). The set of indicators offered in the Barometer will contribute to a better understanding and assessment of the patterns of mineral governance in southern Africa.
 
Some of the key findings evidence-based of the report are:
  • There is little or no correlation between the number of regulations a state has and the monitoring and enforcement of compliance. Some countries, like Zimbabwe and South Africa, have the highest monitoring and enforcement scores.  Others, like Lesotho and Botswana, have the lowest scores. The four countries with the least rules (Namibia, Swaziland, Malawi, and Madagascar) are however comparatively effective in monitoring and enforcing compliance.  
  • The centrality of accountability shows that state officials most diligently keep track of the activities of mining companies when they know that that citizens and civil society are keeping track of them.  
  • Although adopting appropriate policies and building administrative capacity are important, the study suggests that laws and institutions that give voice to the ostensible beneficiaries of mineral extraction are perhaps the most fundamental bases for the effective governance of the sector.
  • Countries with robust accountability mechanisms and vibrant civil societies are more likely to regulate mining in ways that promote national economic and fiscal linkages, enhance community welfare, and protect workers and the environment.
  • The capacity of a state, particularly for collecting and disseminating data about the size, shape, performance and impact of the mining industry, makes it possible to develop an informed regulatory framework that can be implemented effectively. 
  • No matter how well-crafted a country’s regulatory framework for mining is, without effective monitoring and enforcement it is just a set of documents on a shelf.
 
What is desired and expected for improved resource governance is a state that is capable and accountable. But our aim in this study has been to determine whether, in fact, this potential or propensity translates into different patterns of mineral governance in actions in the region. It is expected that this report will become a major resource for governments, mining companies, activists and research institutions interested in understanding the resource governance trends in southern Africa.
 
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For more information and media calls or interview bookings please contact: 
; www.osisa.org
Dorothy Brislin Communications Manager
DorothyB@osisa.org  
+27 (0) 11 587 5047
+27 (0)63 296 4721
 
Spokespersons: 
Dr. Claude Kabemba, SARW Director (under OSISA NRGI
Percy Makombe, OSISA Natural Resources Governance Programme Manager
 
The Johannesburg launch will take place as follows: - 
Date:     Wednesday, 19th April 2017
Time:       10h30 – 12h30 (followed by lunch
Venue:     OSISA Boardroom, President Place, 1 Hood st, Rosebank                                     
Speaker:  Professor Rod Alence 
 
Should you wish to attend, please contact: Tsitsi Fungurani tsitsif@osisa.org and cc MoratuoaT@osisa.org.  
 
 
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