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African Agenda 14.4




  • PEOPLE AND PLANET OVER PROFITS: Africa Demands Equity!

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    ACCRA, Ghana--(TWN-Africa-29 June, 2011)--Abdulai Daramani, a Programme Officer of Environment Unit of Third World Network-Africa, has said that emerging processes that seek to “threaten the mining reform agenda” at the continental and regional level are underway. Daramani was speaking to newsmen in Accra Tuesday at a press briefing organized by the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES) to share with local media the outcome of their thirteenth annual strategy meeting, which took place from 21 – 24 June in Harare, Zimbabwe.



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    Concept Note

    1.0 Background

    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.


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    The 2011 World Social Forum (WSF), the second to be held in Africa since its inception a decade ago in Porto Alegre, Brazil, has made a shaky start in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.


    At the first official day of the Forum, hundreds of participants from around the world were stranded as a result of the absence of a complete programme, inadequate and well-labelled venues, thus driving many event-organisers to either postpone or cancel planned events on February 7.


    While tempers never flared up, participants were visibly disappointed at the quality of organisation. Organisers of the WSF have however assured participants and event organisers that the organisational challenges of the first day were being addressed. The confusion does not seem to have subdued participants’ enthusiasm.


    The venue of the Dakar forum is the University of Cheikh Anta Diop. Participants of WSF 2011 have to compete with students of the university for space. And in a stack case on February 7, a university lecturer walked out organisers of a WSF event on Emerging Economies and Africa’s Media, to make way for his accounting class. He told the WSF participants he has two weeks to complete his syllabus for the semester.


    However, 30 minutes into his lecture, the university authorities walked the lecturer and students out of the lecture hall to make way for the WSF event. According to the university, that particular lecturer hall had been earmarked for WSF events. (...)


    (c) Kwesi W. Obeng


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