Monday, February 3, 2014

Local communities must prosper from Africa’s natural resources

GENEVA, Switzerland, February 3 – With high-level policy makers and business people
gathering in Cape Town for this year’s African Mining Indaba, the Africa Progress Panel
calls on the political and business leaders of Africa’s extractive industries to ensure a
fairer deal for the communities affected by their work.
 We recognise and welcome the effort being made by some companies to become more
transparent with their tax payments, to develop local capacity, jobs, and business, and to
build critical infrastructure in such a way that it opens up new economic opportunity.
 Likewise we respect progress from those governments who have worked hard to make
their industries more transparent: publishing contracts and working hard to comply with
the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
 But progress is often lacking. Political and business leaders must decide which side of
history they wish to stand. Tax avoidance and evasion, unfair contracts, and secrecy
around company ownership and revenue flows, remain major concerns that prevent
African (and other) citizens from benefitting from the resources beneath their feet.
 Mining can be a force for a good. Or it can be a missed opportunity. Corruption,
political instability, and the failure to create enough jobs and opportunities for our
continent’s rapidly growing youth population will affect us all.
 We urge today’s leaders to keep the future in mind, to ensure a fairer deal for local
communities, to whom the natural resources belong. We all benefit from an Africa that is
prosperous, stable, and fair.

Chaired by Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the ten-member
Africa Progress Panel advocates at the highest levels for equitable and sustainable
development in Africa. The Panel releases its flagship publication, the Africa Progress Report,
every year in May. Called Equity in Extractives: Stewarding Africa’s natural resources for all
showed how Africa’s oil, gas, and mining sectors represent excellent opportunity for Africa
and recommended a series of policies and actions for African governments, multinational
business, and the international community.

No comments:

Post a Comment