"Natural Resources not a curse for Africa rather a conduit for good governance"
Cape Town, South Africa – The African Continent hosts more than half of the worlds share of both renewable and non-renewable natural resource wealth and as such, dialogue on governance within the extractive and resource industries and sectors becomes paramount in harnessing cooperation and consensus between African leaders and governments, political parties, civil society, business and academia.
The African Peer Review Mechanism partnered with International IDEA (The Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) and ACBF (The Africa Capacity Building Foundation) on the High Level Dialogue On “Political Parties and Natural Resource Governance: Building Capacity for a Development Approach”. The two-day high-level dialogue took place on the margins of the Investing in African Mining Indaba which is hosted yearly in Cape Town, South Africa.
The high-level dialogue held broad-based discussions framed around “A new Developmental Approach of Natural Resources Governance in Africa” authored by Prof. Omano Edigheji of International IDEA. The discussion paper highlights the evolution of resource governance in Africa, the 21st century as a new development approach to resource governance, The African Union’s Africa Mining Vision Action Plan and finally the implications of the new development approach on the African Peer Review Mechanism.
The high-level Dialogue was opened by the Hon. Mrs. Thoko Didiza, Member of Parliament and House Chairperson on Internal Arrangements, Parliament of the Republic of South Africa, who emphasised the need for African parliaments and governments to further involve themselves within capacity and knowledge building for the formation and implementation of natural resources governance on the continent.
Prof. Eddy Maloka, CEO of the APR Continental Secretariat, stressed the need for accountability and transparency within the extractive industries and sectors and the importance of sharing best practices in natural resources governance. Prof Maloka accentuated that natural resources are not a curse for the Continent, rather this opens up the space for good governance to model how natural resource are monitored and administered for the benefit of the people of Africa. Prof Maloka also stated how the African Union extended the mandate of the APRM to an evaluation and monitoring agency whose outcomes can influence policy reformation, particularly on multifaceted issues such as natural resources governance in Africa.
The dialogue hosted roundtable sessions that spoke to the priorities, challenges and opportunities for achieving a developmental approach to natural governance on the continent. The diverse sessions provided a platform for the discussions on the role for political parties in framing and implementing the new developmental approach to natural resources governance in Africa; the identification of institutional programmatic support in developing a strong developmental approach to natural resources governance in Africa; the role for civil society in implementing the new developmental approach to natural resources governance in Africa as well as the role of the private sector in implementing the new developmental approach to natural resources governance in Africa.
The conversations open to the participants present further expressed concerns that may be linked as hindrance to governance issues such as gender and vulnerable group exclusion within extractive industries, civil society hostility, the lack of youth and skills development, disinvestment on the African continent, corruption and IFFs, the need for state planning, devaluing, investment, inclusion, the need for the protection of wealth for the future generations, ownership of resources by the people of the continent, African agency when it comes to ownership of its own minerals and environmental degradation.
The conference which started yesterday, 7 February ends today.
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