African civil society organisations have called governments on the continent to pursue legislation and strong regulatory institutions to ensure that African countries derive their fair share of the benefits of their extractive resources.
And representatives of over 450 CSOs from African countries their international partners marched in Cape Town last week during the closing stage of the Mining Indaba and presented a declaration calling for greater transparency in the extractive industry.
Meanwhile, Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma says he like other Zambians is concerned on how best the country could benefit from mining.
The CSO’s have also urged governments in Africa to domesticate the progressive regional processes and instruments at the national level like the African Mining Vision.
This is according of a declaration made at the end of the 2017 Alternative Mining Indaba under the theme “making natural resources work for the people: domestication of the Africa mining vision: from vision to reality’’.
The CSO further called on their governments to recognise that the economic value of local ownership of mining rights is higher than foreign Multinational Corporations.
“We urge African governments to push hard for stronger and better regulatory institutions to ensure that the benefits of extraction are shared equitably. We urge African nations to dispense with the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) logic of the Multi National Corporations, which invariably results in these countries unnecessarily competing against each other for foreign investment by lowering tax thresholds, thus further undermining their ability to mobilise adequate domestic revenues,” the said.
They also call on governments to invest resources in their Sovereign Wealth Funds from minerals so as to create inter-generational equity, instead of just saving the money.
“We call on governments to not only focus on revenue mobilisation but also the distribution end to ensure that the poorest in society also benefit from the mineral wealth transparently and accountably. We urge our governments to identify processes of the mining chain where corruption is most likely to occur, starting from concession-granting to revenue collection to demobilisation and bloc these loopholes,” they said.
The CSO’s also urged African governments to employ taxation as an important strategic tool to foster linkages between mining activities and the larger national economy.
“Furthermore, we call on our governments to harmonise regional policies to improve the benefit of extractives to African citizens. We call upon African governments to fully optimise mining revenues by tackling over generous fiscal incentives, corruption and lack of transparency. We call on our governments to review or re-negotiate contracts unfavourable to their countries to raise revenue to fund structural transformation of their economies.”
And Mr Yaluma says he is concerned just like other Zambians on how best the country from benefit from mining.
He said he was open to continued dialogue with CSOs and Faith Based Organisations in Zambia on improving the management of the extractive industry.
Mr Yaluma said this when members of the Zambian Civil Society and Faith leaders met him at the just ended Alternative Mining Indaba in South Africa and engaged him on various issues pertaining to mining in the country.