sharing in governance of extractive industries
My book is out !
The result of five years research, field work and analysis (both @IPISresearch.be in Antwerp and @GRESEA.be in Brussels).
Written in Dutch, but already lots of demands to have a French translation.
EPO, Antwerp, Feb 2013, 269p
Mining and Development
Cases of phosphate in Morocco, from cotton to gold in Mali, enclaves in DRCongo, Mittal in Liberia, the contract renegociation wave in Africa, electricity (BHP Billiton) in South Africa, lithium in Bolivia, majors in DRCongo, China (rare earth elements, the Iron Titans, China in Africa), and alternatives from the African Union and South Africa
Sorry for the pic size
Niger’s contracts with uranium company AREVA are to be renegotiated, according to Nigerien president, Mahamadou Issoufou. With Niger’s uranium only contributing 5% to the GDP, Issoufou said it was time for the relationship to be rebalanced. Our coalition in Niger has long campaigned for such a renegotiation. Last October PWYP Niger/ROTAB organised a public conference highlighting the inequality of the Niger/AREVA relationship and calling on the government to take action.
Indeed, although Niger is the world’s fourth largest producer of uranium (and set to soon become the second), 60% of Niger’s population live below the poverty line. In a recent interview , PWYP’s Niger coordinator Ali Idrissa stated that, ‘We cannot understand why Niger is so rich in natural resources, yet at the bottom of the human development index’. He continued ‘We have always denounced the AREVA/Niger contract and asked for it to be renegotiated so that Niger can benefit from its natural resources’.
Niger’s partnership with AREVA – and the division of profits over uranium – has long been criticised as a one-sided affair. The relationship was an unbalanced one from the beginning, with AREVA gaining a monopoly over uranium extraction days before independence. Indeed many see – whether accurately or not – AREVA as an extension of the French government. The blurring of identity between AREVA and French government is reflected in the fact that deals between AREVA and the Nigerien government used to be referred to colloquially as ‘defence deals’ rather than natural resource deals.
In October 2012, the Niger government had publicly announced that its partnership withAREVA was an unbalanced one, tipped strongly in favour of the French energy company. It based its comments on the fact that Niger’s mining revenues only contribute 5% to the economy, despite Niger being an important producer of uranium. Some chose not to read too much into this statement, seeing it as an exercise in populism. However, judging by Issoufou’s recent declaration, it would seem that the government acting is on its statement.
(See a previous blog – Towards a fairer deal for Niger – for more on the story).
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