Natural Resources: Examining Ways To Benefit Communities Communities

Experts met in Yaounde on August 23, 2016 in an international conference to discuss the importance of revising the country’s legal and regulatory framework.

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Mineral resource experts say the legal and regulatory framework for exploitation of natural resources in Africa since independence did not permit states to capture maximum benefits. This has pushed countries like Burkina Faso and Guinea Conakry to review their mining laws. Epxerts however decry the fact that countries are doing it singlehandedly without concertation and harmony attracting competition which in the most case benefit companies rather than States and communities due to inadequate negotiations and the lack of date.

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An international conference in Yaounde on August 23, 2016 at the Summer School of the Natural Resources Governance Institute with participants from different francophone countries brought out the importance of revising the legal and regulatory frameworks to States and communities. They argued that new regulatory frameworks have to make sure that communities participate in the decision to take accord concessions as against what obtains now when they are simply informed even if the project affects them. They stated that the legal framework needed to be clear and precise on the share and modalities for the transfer and use of royalties meant for local communities and councils.

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The mining sector contributes a meager 0.1 per cent to the country’s GDP with Hon. Jean Jacques Zam stating that the sector could be a development lever if well harnessed. The 2001 Mining Code is under review, with experts hoping for a turn-around in the management of natural resources.

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Evelyne Tsague, Africa Deputy Director of Natural Resource Governance Institute joined panelists from the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development, Burkina Faso, Guinea Conakry and the civil society to say a favourable business environment, transparency in the supervision of financial flows, the clear distinction of roles and responsibilities and the reduction in administrative bottlenecks could stimulate activity in the sector to the betterment of communities and councils.

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