JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The resource nationalist measures being implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania are significantly more extreme than those being adopted and even considered in most other African countries.
One likely reason for this is that the DRC and Tanzania both suffer from significant institutional weaknesses. In that sense, they are outliers, but the general trend is undoubtedly in the direction of greater fiscal control and greater State intervention, as espoused in the African Mining Vision adopted by the African Union in 2009.
This calls for transparent and equitable revenue collection and distribution; and leveraging mining to stimulate beneficiation, procurement and the development of infrastructure, technology and skills.
Attitudes have hardened since 2015, after an African Union high level panel reported that, from 2000 to 2010, African States collectively lost at least $50-billion of revenue a year owing to “illicit financial flows”, 56% of it from the mining sector.
The speed and severity of major regulatory changes tends to depend on the strength of checks and balances on executive power, that is, on the competence, independence and vigour of public institutions such as the legislature and judiciary; as well as private institutions such as the media, civil society and chambers of mines.