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02.11.2008 General News

Third World Network hosts mining conference


Third World Network Africa in collaboration with the Review of African Political Economy will host a regional conference on mining to explore policy options beyond the need to attract direct investment into Africa's mining sector.

The meeting to be held between November 5 and 7, 2008 will bring together activists, researchers, academics, members of parliament, experts from the UN system and government officials.

It is on the theme: “Beyond foreign direct investment in Africa's mining sector,” and will discuss the general policy framework, policy making and impact of current mining operations on Africa's development.

Briefing the press on the conference, Dr Yao Graham, Co-ordinator of TWN, said the meeting was taking place at a time of the commodities boom, particularly affecting the price of oil and various metals and minerals.

He said instead of reaping gains from the boom, most endowed African countries were not getting the benefits because of poor mining policies that gave generous concessions and tax incentives to investing companies in the sector.

This, Dr Graham said, had triggered calls and initiatives for mining policy reform across the African continent and national processes for the review of certain specific contracts and other fiscal provisions.

The meeting will also provide a platform to look at institutional arrangements for the delivery of mining policies in Africa.

State actors such as the Minerals Commission of Ghana and the Internal Revenue Service will provide some insight into effective and efficient mineral resource mobilisation.

Also to be examined are the effectiveness of voluntary initiatives and campaigns such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Publish What You Pay.