Free Prior and Informed Consent in the Extractive Industries in Southern Africa

Africa is a continent of paradox. Arguably the richest continent in terms of natural resources, it continues to house many of the poorest people in the world. The current wave of legal and policy reforms emerging in Africa, both at a regional and domestic level, focus on increasing the state share of revenues from the wealth of natural resources, harmonisation of mining codes at sub regional and regional level 1 and attempts to better integrate and manage mineral and hydrocarbon resources towards longer term economic development with the hope that this will have positive developmental impacts. Many argue, however, that this extractive-intensive model of economic development is actually driving widening inequality that, in effect, serves to erode potential development benefits and increase social strife and hardships for large sections of the economically marginalised population. None suffer more than the communities whose land and resource rights, often already tenuous, are affected or eroded directly as a result of such projects. These communities? access and ownership of the land and resources has been neglected for decades through racially discriminatory regimes. The recognition of these rights today should mean that they can negotiate their own development outcomes in exchange for their valuable resources, thereby ensuring that they benefit in real terms.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Indigenous Peoples and Consent
Author: Legal Resources Centre, Oxfam