The ECA will be holding a two day Policy Dialogue on the Challenges Faced by African States in Mining and Petroleum Contract Negotiations at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa on 5 and 6 May 2015. The dialogue sessions are being held in collaboration with the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) as well as the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) and is expected to focus on the critical issues surrounding petroleum and mining contract negotiations in Africa.
While African States are well endowed with natural resources, especially those related to precious metals and stones, and petroleum, the populations do not adequately benefit from the extractive industries. Foreign investors and multinational corporations are often the main beneficiaries, with source countries receiving a very low share of revenue while the extraction may ultimately inflict long-term damage to the environment and eventually destabilize the national economies.
History shows that in Africa, petroleum and mining contract negotiations are limited to technical experts (e.g. geologists and engineers), or to small groups of negotiators who are not adequately skilled to represent the interests of all stakeholders including the nation/mining rights owners, and are designated on the basis of purely political and partisan interests whereas the applying corporations are represented by world class specialized negotiators. Moreover, opportunities regarding sustainability, environmental impact and gender equity are missed during the negotiations. The complexity of contract provisions and the applicable legal and fiscal regimes, business, technical and cross-cutting issues, and many other aspects directly or indirectly related to petroleum and mining, require the participation of competent experts such as lawyers, tax specialists, economists, environmentalists, sociologists, or political scientists (among other), working in “multidisciplinary” teams.
To address these challenges, the ECA together with other partners continuously works with the African Union, regional economic communities and member States, especially to advise on the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision and other initiatives intended to economically benefit and transform the continent. Other basis for discussions will include the "Silane Report" and the CMV Guidebook.
The session is expected to result in the following outcomes:
- The creation of a continental « multidisciplinary» framework for the exchange of experience and support in the form of a “Network of African Experts for negotiations of mining and petroleum contracts”;
- A better understanding on how to align the existing set of legal and regulatory instruments in Africa with the AMV".
- Provide a platform for advocacy for gender equity in the extractive industries for better performance and provision of livelihoods.
- The development of practical tools (guidelines) clearly establishing fundamental rules to be followed in contract negotiations by negotiators in the field of petroleum and mining;
- Finally, the development, of “model contracts” that may be used by member States in the process of mining and petroleum contract negotiations, in a dynamic of balanced relationships leading to “win-win” partnerships, taking into account both international legal rules and specific requirements established by the “African Mining Vision”.
The policy dialogue will be attended by directors of mining, natural resources, high level officials of petroleum producing member States, regulators, environmentalist and beneficiation experts and practicing lawyers. It will also benefit from both the African Union and United Nations experts on the mining vision and on contract law. Countries interested in strategies for ensuring community beneficiation and reduction of illicit financial flows are urged to attend.
For more information kindly contact Mr. Martin Ndende at firstname.lastname@example.org.