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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Africa urged to model law on mining to check rogue investors 

NAIVASHA, Kenya, (Xinhua) -- The International Alliance on National Resources in Africa (IANRA) on Tuesday called on African governments to adopt model law on mining to help them deal with rogue investors who fleece communities.

IANRA Africa Chairman Mwikamba Maghenda also called on investors carrying out mining activities in the continent to fully involve communities in those areas.

Maghenda said communities in different countries in Africa have been left wallowing in poverty while investors shipped billions of dollars abroad in mining proceeds.

“This model law was prepared after inputs from Kenya, DRC, Angola, Zimbabwe and South Africa and we call on governments in these areas to take into consideration some of its recommendations,” he said in Naivasha, northwest of Kenyan capital Nairobi, during the launch of the mining model law prepared by the organization.

Maghenda said communities in mining areas in Africa shared the same problems adding that it required concerted efforts to ensure they benefited from the resources.

“Some information on mining is usually kept secret and only the government and the investor are privy to and the model law will help communities know their rights,” Maghenda said.

“Some investors will come and do the exploration and leave with all the benefits leaving the communities poorer than they found them and this law will address some of those challenges,” he added.

IANRA Coordinator Gilbert Sendegua said the law will also seek to empower communities to know their rights and how to deal with an investor willing to carry out mining activities.

“Some of the issues that may help here is involving the communities and government in projects that may be of benefit to them like construction of schools, hospitals and other amenities,” Sendegua said.

He said that the model law will be distributed to all communities in Africa where mining is done and called on governments to see how it can be put to legislation.

In the Kenyan situation, the senior officer called on senators to look at some of the provisions in the law so as to incorporate them with the mining bill currently before it.

“We know that the bill in the senate will benefit many communities but we also call on them to look at this model one and how best some of its provisions can be cooperated in it before it is passed,” he said.

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