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From 9 to 13 February, the mining world will descend on Cape Town for the globe's biggest annual Mining Indaba. SAIIA will be hosting two important events alongside the Indaba to address some of the critical questions facing the mining industry in Africa.
Global energy consumption will increase rapidly in the next decade. The current core energy production sites in the world economy are unlikely to be able to supply this increasing demand. A new book, containing chapters from SAIIA researchers Dr Ana Alves and Dr Agathe Maupin, looks at Sub-Saharan Africa's potential energy resources in this light.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 122, January 2015
Uncontrolled and often illegal sand mining activities are destroying some of South Africa’s most valuable natural resources at an unprecedented rate.
Happy new year to all our partners and friends! The year that has gone was characterised by South Africa’s fifth democratic elections, the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, and the growing power of Boko Haram and other radical Islamist groups in Africa. Across other parts of the world, old fissures seemed to re-emerge; whether in Europe’s growing right-wing wave, or in Ukraine and in the Middle East.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 116, November 2014
Botswana possesses an estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal, much of which is thermal quality and unsuitable for export. Under a conservative set of assumptions, however, the country could export roughly 72 million tonnes a year at peak production. But climate change concerns - and the impact of international climate change agreements to limit carbon emissions - may curtail the availability of future export markets.
Due to the increasing threat of climate change, the key role that energy plays in the interactions between societies and resources towards a sustainable development has gained broad attention. As renewable energy sources (RES) become more competitive in relation to other energy sources, they create another opportunity to attract additional investments in favour of a greener economy.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 4, November 2014
The latest issue of the South African Journal of International Affairs (Volume 21.3) is now available online, featuring articles on BRICS co-operation across the South Atlantic, collaboration by BRICS corporates in Africa, the nuclear security discourse, the question of Islamic Nationalism in Al Shabaab, ANC foreign policymaking under Mbeki and the question of conflict-free diamonds under the Kimberly process.
SAIIA’s Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme (GARP) works to improve policies governing Africa’s abundant natural resources. The programme analyses the key local, continental and global trends influencing the management, use, development and regulation of Africa’s natural resources. The short video above outlines the work of the programme, and how it contributes to the sound and sustainable use of Africa’s resources for development of the continent.
In recent years, there has been increasing interest in Africa's natural resources, spurred on by new mineral discoveries. Yet there has also been a growing sense that the exploitation of these resources has to result in a greater developmental gain for the continent.
As part of its 80th anniversary celebrations, SAIIA held a Foreign Policy Conference from 28 to 30 October 2014 on “Global changes, ‘Africa Rising’ and Agenda 2063: Implications for the foreign policies of South Africa and other African driver states”.
The announcement of a joint agreement between the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and Hebei Iron and Steel Group to open a steel mill in Phalaborwa could signal a new stage in the longstanding relationship between South Africa and China. Financed in part by the China Africa Development Fund, the deal reportedly involves the Chinese company taking a 51% share in the joint venture and building a processing plant that will go beyond the mere extraction of resources for export and generate local employment.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 201, September 2014
Understandably, the mining industry is not perceived as a bastion of environmental preservation. That many of the world’s minerals and hydrocarbons are found in pristine environments is an unfortunate but inescapable reality. Guinea’s tier-one iron-ore deposit, for instance, is under one of Africa’s last remaining rain forests.
In June 2014 Botswana’s Okavango Delta was enlisted as the 1000th UNESCO World Heritage Site – a status that underscores the Delta’s global ecological significance and highlights the need to protect and manage this important biosphere. September 2014 also marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Permanent Cubango-Okavango River Basin Commission (OKACOM) agreement that commits Namibia, Angola and Botswana, the three riparian states of the River Basin, to a coordinated and environmentally sustainable regional water governance strategy. In 1996 the Okavango Delta was also declared a Ramsar Site, further highlighting its status as a wetland of global importance.
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch invites you to a public seminar by Dr Mare Sarr on "Capital Flight and Oil in Africa."
High-school learners from across South Africa presented their research and recommendations on topics related to sustainable development and climate change at the 2014 SAIIA Sasol Environmental Sustainability Project Provincial Presentations in Gauteng (19 September 2014), Durban (26 August 2014) and Cape Town (28 August 2014).
The latest issue of the South African Journal of International Affairs (Volume 21.2) is now available online, featuring articles on topics ranging from the post-presidential diplomacy of Thabo Mbeki, to the M23 insurgency in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to greening economic growth in the South.
The 2014 South African Mining Lekgotla convenes in Johannesburg, on 13-14 August. This comes against the backdrop of unresolved challenges in the mining sector, including the recent protracted platinum strike, inter-union rivalries and violence, service delivery failure in mining communities and the persistent migrant labour system.
For well over a decade, a unique, but flawed global governance initiative, the Kimberley Process, has sought to assure customers that the high prices that they pay for diamonds - stones sold as symbols of love – are not associated with war and bloodshed. But more recently, the increasing production of synthetic diamonds in response to demand in emerging countries is threatening the stability of the entire diamond market.
At this week’s Mining Lekgotla (13-14 August 2014), the future of the currently suppressed platinum industry is likely to be a key agenda item. Whether fuel cell technology takes off is a critical determinant of what this future might look like.
The Mining Lekgotla (13 - 14 August 2014), comes at a time the South African mining sector is reeling following the longest and violent platinum strike in the history of the country. The South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), which continues to monitor and follow developments in the mining sector through its Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme (GARP), has put together a set of resources to help observers and the media.
For a decade now the world has been engaged in what has been seen as a battle against blood diamonds perceived as funding wars in countries like Sierra Leone and DRC. The Kimberley process is one unique but flawed example of an attempt at global governance co-operation by producers and consumers to stamp out blood diamonds.
How natural resources are governed plays a significant role in determining development prospects in Africa. This encapsulates a key overarching lesson that has emerged from the recently-concluded second research phase (2010-2014) of SAIIA’s Governance of Africa’s Resources Programme (GARP).