World Bank-led, online database brings transparency to Africa's mining sector

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

Laws and regulations covering mineral resources across all 53 African countries will become freely available via a World Bank-led online mining database, the African Mining Legislation Atlas (AMLA) by the end of the year.

Recently-appointed SARChI Research Chair for Mineral Law in Africa, Professor Hanri Mostert at UCT, which is AMLA’s curating partner, said: “It is well known that one of the barriers to investment in the African resource sector is the absence of certainty about legal frameworks for investors’ trying to make decisions on whether to invest in a particular jurisdiction or not.

“More astonishing is how inaccessible information to these legal frameworks can be, even in jurisdictions that have comprehensive laws governing the mineral resource sector. In some countries, documents as basic as mining statutes are not freely available at all. That can be a major deterrent to international investors.”

Apart from enabling a more transparent mining sector, accessibility of information and making resource investment decisions in Africa easier, AMLA also aims to build indigenous capacity for the creation and implementation of legal frameworks and governance.

Monstert said: “There is a real need for laws in African countries to take into account the realities of a modern day market economy and current mining techniques, but also the value systems of the jurisdictions that must be served by these laws.

“Right now, doom and gloom seem to dominate debate about African mineral resource extraction, due to the drop in commodity prices. However, an economic slump provides a window of opportunity for many African countries to consolidate and improve their legal frameworks governing extractive enterprises.”

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SOURCE: [Mining Review]

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