Africa’s mining sector is under (re)construction – by Nastassia Arendse ( – October 19, 2015)

Key elections will lay out the roadmap for the future of mining.

2015 has been eventful for African democracy and leadership transitions and it will continue to be well into the year 2016. Not every desk-based investor wants to deal with social instability, coups and state disintegration. Democratic transitions in African countries will have an impact on the stability of the environment in which mining companies have to operate.

The slowdown in China as the country shifts to a consumer led model has prompted many resource rich African countries to re-evaluate their dependency on Chinese demand. The weak performance in commodities has prompted mining companies to cut investments in even the most resource-rich countries. Voters and investors are focusing on what measures governments will take to shore up their economies.

The prospects of job losses haunt Africa countries ahead of forthcoming elections which are due to take place in countries such as Burkina Faso, Central African Republic (CAR), Côte d’Ivoire and Tanzania – to name but a few.

“Looking beyond 2015, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo will be in focus. Here we see two presidents not wanting leave, and both are taking actions to pave a way to stay on for an unconstitutional third term,” says Gabrielle Reid, political & country risk analyst for Africa at Salamanca Group.

The rise of presidential term limits has made headlines in the past month. The intention of state leaders in countries such as Burkina Faso, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, and the DRC to run for president despite constitutional limitation of mandates is arguably one of the most critical foreign policy challenges in the African Union (AU).

“The DRC’s presidential elections are scheduled for 2016 – political tension is rising significantly, considering suspicion that Kabila will try to hold on to power, despite current constitutional limitation of mandates,” says Olivier Binyingo, Director at Afriwise Consult.

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