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Governance of Africa’s Resources

Based in Cape Town, GARP provides advisory and research support to governments and other stakeholders on governing Africa’s natural resources to maximise their equitable and sustainable development contributions. Regular field research, policy convening and dialogue activities are led by GARP experts in the three focal areas of mining and development; energy and the green economy; and the governance of ecosystems and commons resources (including fisheries and forestry).

Increasingly acknowledged as an influential African voice on resource governance, the programme works closely with local, regional and other international partners, including through the SAIIA Change-Makers forum and the Governance of Africa’s Resources Research Network (GARN). Co-ordinated by GARP, the network facilitates capacity-building, knowledge-sharing and the up-scaling of research outputs beyond the respective national levels.

View a playlist of videos related to this programme on YouTube. Contact the programme on resourcegov[@]saiia.org.za.

Contrary to the urgent calls for the reform of the Kimberley Process (KP), its year-end plenary took place in Johannesburg from 19 to 22 November 2013 without a breakthrough on the pressing reform questions. The outgoing chair, South Africa, will now handover to China in early 2014, with Angola in line to take the helm in 2015. Neither successor is likely to push hard on the reform front, underlying the extent to which South Africa’s own tenure had been a missed opportunity.
World Fisheries Day, celebrated each year on 21 November 2013, comes at a time when the South African Parliament is considering legislation that many feel will finally give small-scale fisheries a rightful stake in the country’s marine resources.
Close to half of the African continent is covered by dryland forests and these ecosystems support the livelihoods of more than 60 per cent of its citizens. However, we underestimate the value of dryland forests and SAIIA Researcher Mari-Lise Du Preez explains why they are essential.
Sunday, 10 November 2013

SAIIA's work on climate change

The 19th Conference of Parties (COP19) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) gets under way in Warsaw, Poland from 11 to 22 November 2013. SAIIA is doing extensive work on issues of climate change and is keenly watching the progress of the negotiations in the Polish capital. Below are a selection of resources SAIIA has produced on this issue.
From 11 to 22 November 2013, members of the United Nations meet for the 19th Annual Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, or COP19. SAIIA researcher Romy Chevallier has attended the last number of COP meetings. 
On 22 and 23 October 2013 SAIIA’s Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme and the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) co-hosted a conference titled ‘Best practice in the governance of Africa’s dryland forests: Implications for Southern Africa’. The event aimed to galvanise support for the dryland forests of Southern Africa among the public and private sectors, civil society and development partners.
By prioritising consensus among its state parties and industry stakeholders in defiance of calls by civil society organisations (CSOs) for governance-enhancing reform, the Kimberley Process Diamond Certification Scheme (KPCS or KP) risks sleep-walking into irrelevance.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 156, October 2013
At an energy stakeholder meeting in parliament held on 19 September 2013, all four presentations by the nuclear lobby – including the Department of Energy (DOE) – typified what behavioural economist Daniel Kahneman calls a ‘planning fallacy’. This essentially describes plans and forecasts that ‘are unrealistically close to best-case scenarios [and] could be improved by consulting statistics of similar cases’.
Mozambique has been one of the ten fastest growing economies in the world from 2001-2010 and is forecast to continue its rapid growth trajectory. In 2014 Mozambique will commemorate 20 years of democracy and, given the substantial changes that have taken place in recent years, this provides a timely juncture to discuss emerging challenges and future perspectives on Mozambique, as well as the country’s role in the SADC region.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 74, September 2013
Mozambique is in a period of rapid transition. Since the end of civil war in 1992 sound governance, infrastructure investments and support from the donor community have helped to boost commerce and tourism. However, it is the recent discovery of significant reserves of gas and coal which has contributed most to Mozambique’s position as one of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world from 2001–10.
SAIIA Report No 13, August 2013 Download - English (1.63 MB) Governance of Africa's Resources ProgrammeMozambique is in a period of rapid transition. Since the end of civil war in 1992 sound governance, infrastructure investments and support from the donor community have helped to boost commerce and tourism. However, it is the recent discovery of significant reserves of gas and coal which has contributed most to Mozambique’s position as one of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world from 2001–10. Notwithstanding the high levels of investment and exceptional growth rates, the majority of Mozambicans remain highly dependent on natural ecosystems to…
Public submissions to parliament on the revised Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (MPRD-AB), originally gazetted in December 2012, were due last Friday September 6, 2013. It is hard to overstate the extent to which the final incarnation of this Bill will affect South Africa’s economic wellbeing.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 151, August 2013
The value of nature's ‘services’ and its non-market benefits need to be better understood and incorporated into the development choices that countries make. As resource-rich African countries are poised to receive an influx of new wealth from oil, coal and gas deposits, the need to motivate for coastal ecosystems to be prioritised, managed more effectively, protected and restored is becoming more urgent. In countries like Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique, mangrove and coastal forests coincide with the physical location of fossil fuel discoveries and proposed port and infrastructure developments.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 72, August 2013
Marikana has elicited a voluminous spectrum of analyses. The most insightful have pointed to the need for deep structural reforms, including innovative means of addressing the persistent challenges of migrant labour. Few, however, have drawn parallels between Marikana and the central problem of violence in South African society more broadly.
South Africa’s gold mining industry is in a perilous condition. In the second quarter of this year alone, the gold price plummeted $220 (R2 153) an ounce, partly in the wake of US economic recovery, which has reduced the demand for gold as a secure store of value.
Monday, 29 July 2013

Congo: the curse of riches

The Democratic Republic of Congo has witnessed another recent outbreak of violence related to the struggle over its rich natural resources. The central African country is faced with a dilemma which is frequently posed in Africa: Is there any way to turn the so-called ‘natural resource curse’ into a blessing?
Two International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) conferences have recently taken place in quick succession. The first, an International Ministerial Conference on Nuclear Power in the 21st Century held in St Petersburg Russia from 27 to 29 June 2013, saw the last minute withdrawal of both the Energy Minister and the CEO of Eskom.
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) has submitted an application to the Labour Court to prevent its loss of official recognition at the Lonmin platinum mines. They dispute the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)’s claim to representing 70% of low-skilled workers now. That NUM is desperately contesting Lonmin’s plans to recognise AMCU is a destructive function of the institution of centralised bargaining.
In 2012, Africa lost an estimated $43-$46 billion to illicit financial flows (IFF). Calculated over time, the size of this “shadow financial system” is staggering. For instance, between 1980 and 2009 the continent is estimated to have lost around US$1.3 trillion. This is according to a report by Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) released in May 2013.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 150, June 2013
The recent global conference of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), convened in Sydney from 23-24 May 2013, provided an opportunity for the EITI board to adopt and launch the EITI Standard, a new set of membership criteria and reporting standards aimed at strengthening the contribution of the EITI to improved governance of extractive industries.
Biofuels have been heralded as a solution to the world’s dependence on hydrocarbons and are promoted under international carbon trading schemes as a mitigation tool for climate change – impelling first world governments to incorporate biofuels into energy mandates for transport industries. Due to the amount of land needed to grow biofuel crops such as jatropha, sugarcane and oil palm, the biofuels market has given rise to a rush to buy up the world’s farmland.
Increasingly assertive in continental politics and highly visible in a number of key global regulatory frameworks for the extractive sector, observers continue to wonder why South Africa (SA) remains conspicuously absent from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). This year marks the tenth anniversary of the framework as it does the Kimberley Process, another high-profile international regulatory scheme in which South Africa plays an instrumental role in preventing conflict minerals from entering the international diamonds supply chains through certification.