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Third World Network-Africa in collaboration with the Review of African Political Economy, will host a regional conference on mining under the theme, ‘Beyond foreign direct investment in Africa’s mining sector’, in Accra, Ghana from November 5-7, 2008. The meeting will bring together activists, researchers, academics, members of parliament, experts from the UN system and government officials working in the mining sector from across Africa (Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Mali, Guinea, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Congo DR) as well as Canada, the UK, and Lebanon.

The three-day meeting aims to discuss the contribution of foreign direct investment in mining to Africa’s development and the alternatives to it. The general policy framework, policy making, and impact of current mining operations on Africa’s development are some of the issues to be discussed. The meeting taking place at a time of the commodities boom and also on the heels of the just-ended, African Union Ministerial on Mining held in Addis Ababa, offers the participants the opportunity to present their views on the current state of affairs in the mining sector of Africa. Topics to be discussed include, ‘Overview of foreign direct investment: Resistance and policy alternatives for Africa’s mining sector’, ‘Mining sector policy-making and the donor community in Africa: lessons and future options for Africa’, ‘Development impact and challenges in mining areas of Africa’, ‘Towards the effective integration of the mining sector in development.’

In a bid to inject some transparency and plug loopholes that allow plundering of Africa’s natural resources in the extractive sector, such voluntary initiatives and campaigns as Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and ‘Publish What You Pay’ were proposed. The meeting will discuss the effectiveness of these initiatives.

The meeting will also provide a platform to look at institutional arrangements for the delivery of mining policies in Africa. In this regard, state actors like the Minerals Commission of Ghana and the Internal Revenue Service will also provide some insight into effective and efficient mineral resource mobilization. Small-scale artisanal mining will also feature in the discussions as a central issue on the proposals for alternatives to the future role of foreign direct investment in the mining sector.

Of great interest in all these is the look at emerging reforms in Africa’s mining sector. This will be examined through the examples of recent experiences of the Southern Africa Development Community(SADC); Zambia’s reforms and the Economic Commission of Africa’s (UNECA) 2050 Africa Mining Vision document.

Some of the expected outcomes at the end of the three-day meeting include: alternative policies and approaches of maximizing contribution of mining towards integrated development, enhancement of Pan-African dialogue with regards to mineral-led growth and sustainable development and the sharing of country and region specific experiences of policy dialogue to inform reform in Africa’s mining sector.


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Social Watch calls for regulation of financial market

'ACCRA, Ghana--Dr.Rose Mensah-Kutin, Convenor of Network for Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT) has launched the 2009 Global Report of Social Watch titled, Making Finances Work: “People First”, with a call on the Ghana government to regulate activities of financial institutions in the country.

The report has called on governments to adopt measures to protect the human rights of people, through the regulation of the banking and financial sector.

It has further indicated that spending on stimulus packages is necessary to ensure full implementation of human rights.

Social Watch is an international non-governmental network of citizen’s organizations working to eradicate poverty and its causes. Both NETRIGHT and TWN-Africa are members and co-host the General Assembly of Social Watch which will be held in Accra from October 27-29.



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