sharing in governance of extractive industries
While contibuting a lot of revenues and raw materials in the development of Western economies, mining industries in the mineral rich Sub-Saharan African countries contribute very little in the development of economies within the region.
Responsible for the little contibution to African economies are the faulty Mineral Policies countries in the region are equipped with.
In the development of Mineral Policies, Governments in the mineral rich Sub-Saharan African countries failed to recognize the following:
(a) Mineral resources within the region are non-renewable and the national wealth of all nationals in all generations within the region and will be developed in a manner that serves their national and regional interests most effectively;
(b) Self-reliance in the appraisal and exploitation of mineral resources within the region is the main enabler of countries to serve their national interests most effectively;
(c) Collaboration of all stakeholders within individual countries and countries in the region would enable to mobilize own seed capital, risks sharing and self-reliance to dominate the appraisal and exploitation of mineral resources and maximize benefit for the countries;
(d) Having a mineral policy which is common throughout the region would enabled countries to dictate terms and ensure the foreign involved appraisal and exploitation of mineral resources within the region contributes most effectively in their economies;
(e) National and Regional investing for profits in the appraisal and exploitation of mineral resources within the region is one of the most important ways of serving the national interests of individual countries most effectively, and that what foreign investing serves individual countries in the region (mostly in the form of taxes) is very limited and little compared to the national and regional profits national and regional investing would generated;
(f) National and Regional investing (especially in grass-root exploration and in the provision of services and supplies to exploration and mining activities) and effective collection of taxes on all taxable profits realized by investors other than governments (in the provision of financing, supplies, services, exploration, sale of mineral rights, exploitation of mineral resources and sell of minerals) is the only way the deserved share of national mineral revenues could be served most effectively;
(g) Governments investing (especially in exploration to add value to mineral resources) stimulates private sector investments, maximizes national shares of mineral revenues and a must in the developing countries of the region, where private sectors are still underdeveloped and lacking the financial muscles involved in a meaningful national investing;
(h) Most of the mineral potentials in the countries are in the undiscovered medium scale mines within the grounds held by small scale miners, and that it is only local and foreign partnerships could enabled their discovery and transformation of the small scale mining sectors into modern, efficient and highly productive small and medium scale mining sectors which contribute to economies in the region significantly;
(i) Partnerships which involve Local and foreign (public and private) sectors in the financing, ownership and management of exploration and mining projects in the small, medium and large scale mining sectors would enable countries to obtain the transfer of skills, know-how and technology, and to maximize their shares of mineral revenues;
(j) Limited tax exemptions are useful when offered to exploration investments (but not to exploration profits) involved in the highly risky exploration stage as a way to lure in the risk fearing investors but, destructive when offered to mining investments and enable exploitation to happen when market conditions are not favourable and at the expense of countries within the region; and
(k) Investing the whole government share of mineral revenues in a national sovereign fund which would serve credit for interest to the Government investing in the development of national infrastructures to support economic activities and nationals investing in economic activities would serve national interest most effectively throughout generations.
As a consequence of non-recognition of what said above, most mineral policies within the region have failed to serve national interests most effectively due to the following:
Mining sectors which contribute significantly and sustainably in the economies of countries with the Sub-Saharan region could evolve if the following is done to rectify mistakes:
(a) Countries in the region should collaborate in the establishment of national and regional funds for exploration to add value to mineral prospects, and maximize their attractiveness for further investing and shares of mineral revenues (if well managed, such funds would start to generate revenues for own growth and shareholders after a very short period of exploration activity);
(b) Countries in the region should collaborate in the development of a mineral policy which would be common for all countries within the region;
(c) Common mineral policy would abolish mineral tax exemptions because luring private (mostly foreign) investors from one country to the other and/or into the exploitation of minerals when market conditions are not favourable is what they do at the expense of countries within the region;
(d) Common mineral policy will encourage local and foreign joint ventures in all exploration and mining activities in small and large scale mining to enable the experienced foreign explorers and miners to contribute discovery of medium scale mines with the grounds held by small scale miners and maximize contribution to economies in the region;
(e) Common mineral policy will establish sovereign national funds in which Governments would deposit their shares of mineral revenues for serving in the form of credit for interest in the economies of the countries throughout generations; and
(f) Common mineral policy would be intolerant to all kinds of corrupt practices in the doing of mineral businesses within the region (e.g. investor will lose right (s) as soon as it is proven beyond doubt that he/she engaged bribe (s) to secure the right (s))
Such a common mineral policy would eventually lead to the evolution of Africans led mineral sectors which contribute significantly in the development of African economies.
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