Two decades after the World Bank took the lead in liberalizing mining codes across Africa, the continent is united on the need to reform their mining codes to derive greater benefits. In 2008, the African Union adopted the African Mining Vision (AMV) 2050, which lays out a roadmap to achieve mining reforms on Africa’s own terms. Under the directive of the AU, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) constituted a body known as the International Study Group (ISG) to produce a report that would provide an intellectual basis for translating the AMV into policy. The report has been produced and was validated at a continent-wide meeting organised by the AU/UNECA in October 2010.
The AMV and the ISG Report represent a shift of orientation toward autonomous domestic mining policy-making on the continent. This shift of orientation requires the support of multilateral actors such as the World Bank in order to succeed. Meanwhile, the promotion of parallel initiatives such as the EU Raw Materials Initiative, the Natural Resource Charter and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) may work to either undermine or support the African reform agenda. While there is unity of purpose to reform Africa’s mining regimes, the quality and direction of the reform are uncertain.
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