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It was a great oversight for Guinea to have granted mining companies such leeway to customize the code as a bid to offer them investment security. By avoiding conducting Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) studies and preparing Environment Management Plans (EMP) before the concessions are awarded enables the companies to abuse society and the environment with impunity. I have not had the opportunity of visiting any of the mining operation areas in Guinea, but I can imagine they are contending with issues of environmental degradation, escalating poverty, unfulfilled compensation and resettlement promises among project-affected communities and having to grapple with how to cause the industry to contributing meaningfully to economic development and growth.

 

It is good that President Alpha Conde has seen the light and is begining to demand for what rightly belongs to them as people and a country. Bravo President Aplha Conde. I am only hoping that our Ugandan Government could take similar actions of edging-out a larger stake from the oil & gas and mining sector and ensure industry compliance to safeguards. I am happy that for Uganda, it is a requirement for investors to conduct EIAs and provide EMP before mining concessions are awarded. However, the downside is that these EIAs and EMPs are proving to be mere paper and nothing to adhere to because of inadequate government enforcement and lack of industry compliances to the obligations therein.

 

The writer is the Executive Director of Water Governance Institute (WGI) and Chairperson, the Civil Society Coalition on Oil & Gas (CSCO), Uganda