In 2014, Malawi held its first National Alternative Mining Indaba in order to enable civil society and community voices to gather around the themes of inclusiveness, transparency and accountability in the mining sector. This year, the National Alternative Mining Indaba returns to Lilongwe on 2 and 3 February, at the Bingu International Conference Centre, organised under Malawi’s largest and only network on the extractive industries (mining, oil and gas), the Natural Resources Justice Network.
This year’s theme is expected to be: Making Laws Work for the People: Effective Legal and Regulatory Frameworks for Malawi’s Extractive Sector. There will be a number of different discussions, presentations and experience sharing from actors across the sector as well as a live panel discussion on oil exploration broadcast on Zodiak’s radio station. It is expected that community representatives, parliamentarians, traditional leaders, government officials, representatives from mining, oil and gas companies, academics, the media, and civil society will attend.
The Alternative Mining Indaba’s programme includes the following topics:
- Why Effective Legal and Regulatory Frameworks are Indispensable for the Extractive Sector in Malawi
- The Importance of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (issues of displacement, resettlement, compensation, women and children, corporate social responsibility)
- The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Malawi
- Malawi’s Oil Potential – A Threat or an Opportunity?
- Mapping of the minerals and potential hot spots of mining in Malawi
National Alternative Mining Indabas have been inspired by the Alternative Mining Indaba that takes place each year in Cape Town, South Africa, to coincide with the largest annual investment meeting on African mining – the Investing in African Mining Indaba. According to the Economic Justice Network of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa, the organisers of the Alternative Mining Indaba that is now in its seventh year, the Alternative Mining Indaba provides ” a platform for communities affected by the extractives industries to reclaim their rights through the formulation of alternatives”. In response, countries in Southern Africa have decided to host their own National Alternative Mining Indabas to give space to community and civil society voices in the extractives.