Driving sustainable investment in African Mining

Digging Deeper: Governing for Future Returns


As October wraps up, that can only mean two things: its Halloween, and Mining Indaba is less than a hundred days away!

Looking back at this month, we dedicated the digital content theme for October to governments, with a significant focus on the success stories across the continent. Too often, Africa, and its leaders make headlines for the wrong reasons. This month however, we sought to highlight the positive in both our continent and industry, specifically focussing on those nations that are getting it right.

Transparency measures, for instance, are now requiring mining companies to publicly disclose their payments to the government. Perceived corruption has cast a shadow on the African continent, but some countries are bucking this dirty stereotype. This newfound openness has allowed states to directly garner their fair share of revenue, bolstering their fiscal capacity for essential services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. In this vein, Botswana comes to mind. The successful management of its diamond revenues have helped fund vital social programs, as well as extensive infrastructure projects, transforming it into one of Africa's mining success stories.

With this, we understand how jurisdictions that are actively investing into their economies are building the groundwork to take full advantage of their mineral wealth. From my research conversations, Tanzania has repeatedly been brought up on this point. The government's emphasis on local beneficiation has driven direct investment into local mineral processing plants, generating employment, skills development, and additional revenue streams. Capturing a greater share of mineral value internally is central to the development goals for producers, whilst equally enabling their population.

Focussing on those getting it right provides the blueprint for future successes across Africa. In addition to Botswana and Tanzania, others bucking the trend include Namibia and Zambia. In all these contexts, the prioritisation of economic and political stability directly ties to a one’s ability to attain and attract investment. In short, minimising red tape and the institution of a less stringent bureaucratic process, paired with a transparent political approach for mining rights is central to encouraging investment and foreign support.

Of course, there is still work to do, but unpacking the positivity in Africa is essential to prompting wider continental progress and catalysing development across other African nations. This has been an interesting month and I look forward to platforming these and other positive stories at next year's Mining Indaba. Who do you feel we missed out?
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