Lack of coalition and coordination among African leaders are the major causes of loss of billions of money in the mining industry for the continent, African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad) revealed on Friday.
The Network made the revelation in Mangochi during the closing of a five-day summer school held at Nkopola in Mangochi where participants included parliamentarians, anti-corruption body officials and other accountability organizations officials from Malawi, Ghana, Zambia and South Africa, among other countries.
In an interview, Communications Officer for Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition, Abdul-Kudus Husein said the outlined challenges were the key issues that had come out during the five-day summer school.
“Corruption is a big issue contributing to the loss of billions and underdevelopment of mining industry across the continent,” he explained.
Husein pointed out that, “This is why African leaders need to come together at African Union or at other African blocks to discuss such issues.”
The Ghanaian anti-corruption communications officers observations were concurred with by Resource Governance Coordinator for Norwegian Church Aid in Malawi, Thokozani Mapemba, who emphasized on the need for research and consultations before venturing into mining deals.
“When African countries with little knowledge about mining sector and required procedures jump into mining deals with foreign investors or companies, the foreign investors take advantage of the situation and push governments into hasty agreements,” he explained.
Mapemba said the summer school was designed to help the participants give correct advice to their governments on how to find good investors and how to deal with taxation issues.
Two participants, Inonge Sakala from Zambia’s Economic Social Accountability Programme, and Alalzuuga Albert Akuka, Ghanaian Member of Parliament, stressed on the need for African countries to engage fellow African countries in mining ventures to reduce environmental degradation and pollution.
The two observed that a lot of overseas companies working in mining sector in different African countries were polluting environment, especially water and air with little care knowing that it’s not their home.
The topic for this year’s summer school was ‘To influence African Governments to institute and implement policies and practices for sustainable development and eradication of poverty.’
The summer school also drew participants from faith-based organizations, and Civil Society Organizations from the said African countries.
AFRODAD is funded by Norwegian Church Aid.