Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) and Third World Network-Africa propose to organise the 13th annual strategy meeting of the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES). The meeting is scheduled to run from June 20 to June 24, 2011 in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Founded in 1999, AIMES is a Pan-African network of organisations, groups, communities and individuals engaged in extractive sector advocacy, in particular mining. As a network, it offers a framework for collaboration to strengthen collective actions that advance community interest, environmental sustainability and development in relation to the extractive sector. The network has representation in over 15 strategic mining countries in Africa. Third World Network (TWN) - Africa is the secretariat of AIMES.
The Africa wide liberalization of mining codes since the 1980s triggered a boom in large scale foreign direct investment in Africa’s mining sectors. The large scale foreign direct investment was motivated by very generous incentives regimes that these codes offered to foreign investors. The African mining boom has generated a number of questions and been accompanied by a number of negative developments.
These negative developments range from concerns about the disproportionate benefits earned by foreign investors compared to host countries and local communities; pressure for greater transparency in the relations between companies and national governments over the transfer and use of mining revenues, demands for accountability companies and public institutions in relations between companies and mining affected communities as well as concerns about environmental degradation and destruction of livelihoods of affected communities and violations of their rights. The lack of linkages between mining enclaves and the rest of national economies have also attracted demands from citizens groups for a re-examination of the incentives regimes enjoyed by foreign mining companies.