sharing in governance of extractive industries
Liberation of African countries from colonialism has failed to enable their majority rural populations out of the extreme levels of poverty most are still dwelling in because Central Governments in most of the countries are the owners of natural resources like minerals in rural areas and passing them (without much consultation with the rural communities) to foreign investors who exploit them for peanut taxes directly payable to the Central Governments and donations to the affected rural communities in return.
The alien whole owned exploitation denies the majority rural populations the opportunity to capitalize on the important natural resources within their rural environments in their struggle for wealth creation and poverty alleviation since what the Central Governments earn on their behalf in the form of taxes plus what they earn directly from the alien exploitation in the form of donations is such a mere fraction of what they deserved from exploitation of natural resources within their lands.
They are also denied the opportunity to build-up important skills in the mastery of own environment for wealth creation through self-reliance in the management and exploitation of its endowment of economic growth potentials like in natural resources for own prosperity and liberation from the chronic dependency on foreign aid they are on.
Most prosperous and stable economies worldwide are characterized with the majority local population ownership in the development and exploitation of local economic growth potentials and source of tax revenues for their Governments. Letting and enabling the majority local populations to own and manage exploitation of natural resources and other economic growth potentials within their habitats is enabling them to become masters of natural resources based economic growth in their countries and the majority beneficiary of the wealth created and source of taxes to their Governments.
Letting and enabling foreigners to own all exploitation of natural resources in the rural areas and become the main source of tax revenues for Governments in African countries is counterproductive because it is consolidation of African populations and Governments dependency on foreign aid and unsustainable as important natural resources in the African countries are limited and non-renewable.
Since the majority of populations in African countries are the poorest rural communities, measures to overcome extreme levels of poverty on the continent should focus on them. These are the true owners of the majority rural lands which are also gifted with huge natural resources like minerals, fertile lands, water bodies and wildlife, which are the readily available sources of the seed capital, raw materials and power generation required to enable economic growth in agriculture, fisheries, tourism and manufacturing for the benefit of generations in the majority rural populations.
To ensure exploitation of natural resources in the rural areas contributes optimal and sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation in the African countries, respective policies should focus on ensuring that African countries earn majority of the wealth generated and most of it invested as seed capital in the stimulation of economic growth and poverty alleviation in the rural areas.
Rural communities should be the main local shareholder in any alien involved exploitation of natural resources like minerals within their rural lands. It would be justifiable because what the alien contribute in as seed capital is just a mere fraction of the natural capital inherent in the natural resources which is the contribution of the rural communities in their alien involved exploitation. Central Governments should issue them (through their local governments or other authorities) the rights of natural resources development and/or exploitation within their rural lands and enable them to negotiate for deserved share in the alien involved investing in of seed capital or prescribe them a fixed royalty in accordance to the market value of the type of natural resource involved and its quantity produced. The Governments would then benefit in the form of taxes generated by the rural communities and the alien investors involved in the development and exploitation of natural resources in the rural lands.
Rural communities shouldn’t be pegged on aid and care from the foreign companies exploiting natural resources on their lands because process earns them just a fraction of what they deserve from the exploitation of their natural resources, denies them the opportunity to build-up business skills through practice in the management and exploitation of natural resources within their own environment, making them more and more unproductive and dependent on foreign aid.
Rural communities are the majority and poorest in African countries and the huge natural resources they are gifted with on their rural lands are the only readily available source of seed capital in their struggle for wealth creation and poverty alleviation. So, measures to overcome extreme levels of poverty majority are dwelling in African countries should base on ensuring that exploitation of natural resources in the rural areas is allowed to go only if it contributes most for economic growth in the rural areas.
The ongoing alien exploitation of mineral resources for peanut taxes paid to Central Governments and donations to affected rural communities in return is similar to what went on the African Continent during colonial times because it is mainly going on for the benefit of the involved aliens and at the expense of generations in the majority rural populations in African countries who are the true owners of the natural resources drained away from their lands by the aliens, upon authorization by the un-caring African Central Governments.
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