Advisory Board: Interview with Bady Baldé, Deputy Executive & Africa Director, EITI

The Deputy Executive & Africa Director at EITI catches up with Mining Indaba after the announcement of the Advisory Board expansion

Bady Baldé is the Deputy Executive and Africa Director at EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative), providing strategic, technical, and political oversight of the EITI implementation. He supervises the development and implementation of country strategies to increase the relevance and impact of the EITI in Africa.

Leading the Secretariat’s work on transparency in commodity trading between state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and international trading companies, providing support on other policy work, including transparency in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM), Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) and Public Financial Management (PFM).

Firstly, why did you decide to join the Mining Indaba Advisory Board?
The Mining Indaba is a flagship event for our sector in Africa. It’s been running for over two decades. It was an honour to be invited to join the Board, alongside so many household names from the mining industry and partner organisations.

How would you like to help shape the conference?
The agenda for the mining industry in Africa could not be more exciting than it is at present. In February 2022, our sights need to be firmly on renewal and recovery, in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis, and on the actions that we need to take to accelerate the energy transition.

We are seeing tremendous innovations in mining technology. We need to apply the same level of creativity and innovation to the management of the sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of transparency and inclusive approaches to governance. I would like to see Mining Indaba 2022 bring this thinking to the fore and build momentum to make political commitments to better governance a reality.   

What are you most excited about being on the Advisory Board?
The EITI is founded on the principle that multi-stakeholder dialogue is necessary to support sector reforms. I’m excited to see many different stakeholders represented on the Mining Indaba’s Advisory Board and look forward to seeing a broad range of stakeholders represented in next year’s conference programme and attendance.

What changes within the mining industry would you like to see within the next 5-10 years?
My hope is that the industry which emerges from the COVID-19 crisis will adopt a humbler approach when it engages with community stakeholders. The mining industry has a deep responsibility to communities and needs to work with them to ensure it creates sustainable and long-term development benefits. I would like to see a transparent and accountable industry emerge, one that is prepared to work alongside communities and governments to create the conditions for sustainable development.
Naturally, I would like to see transparency become the norm in our sector. I would like to see community and civil society voices engaged in debate and empowered by data. There is increasing commitment to many new frontiers in transparency. For example, we are working on public registers detailing the ultimate owners of extractive companies, databases of mining, oil and gas contracts and more sophisticated and granular disclosures of commodity trades with state-owned enterprises. In 5-10 years, I would like to see commitments to transparency being made good, with this data being regularly disclosed, used, shared and debated.

What are the most critical changes that we must make to face the future effectively? How can the new Mining Indaba Advisory Board support this? 
In Africa, developing the skills and expertise to operate and govern the mining industry is paramount. I will be using my experience on the Advisory Board to learn more about the perspectives of other stakeholders. I hope others on the Advisory Board will do the same. In this way, we can use our collective energy to shape the agenda for the mining sector in Africa and stimulate the critical thinking and innovation we so desperately need.

What would be the next steps within the industry to ensure maximum compliance, and improve transparency?
There is still a long way to go to make good on political commitments to improve transparency and accountability. I would like to see leaders emerging in the industry who are prepared to become champions of transparency. I would like to see them work alongside civil society to introduce sustainable reforms in sector governance. I would like the industry to take a zero-tolerance approach to corruption and harness its resources and creativity to stimulate debate and action towards a just energy transition.

For more information on the expansion of the 2022 Advisory Board and to see all members, please click here.

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