Eye on Malawi’s Extractives with Rachel Etter Phoya
Envisioning Mining in Malawi in 2017
Happy New Year! Let’s look ahead to some of my aspirations for Malawi’s extractive industries in 2017.
- Tabling and passing of a new and improved Mines and Minerals Bill and completion of accompanying regulations.
- Ensuring meaningful and collaborative implementation of the new clause for community development agreements, recognising that this is new territory for all stakeholders.
- Producing the first Malawi Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report by April 2017.
- Making all agreements signed with exploration and mining companies public and easily accessible.
- Progress on developing the Petroleum Policy, on revising the draft Model Production Sharing Agreement, and on amending the 1983 Petroleum (Exploration and Production) Act.
- Expanding the courses for technical and tertiary training in professions relevant for the mineral value chain.
- Developing Malawi’s Country Mining Vision aligned with the Africa Mining Vision.
- Launch of the completed cadastre at the Department of Mines and the Geological Data Management Information System at the Geological Survey Department.
- Finalising and implementing the Draft Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Policy.
- Greater budget allocations to the Environmental Affairs Department and other key departments involved in environmental monitoring.
- Increases in commodity prices.
- Improvements in infrastructure, particularly electricity access and reliability.
- Better stakeholder relations and communication between Government, residents in mining and exploration communities, industry, civil society, and elected and traditional leaders.
I also look forward to expanding the scope of this column in the Mining & Trade Review. This is my 21st column and we have decided to make a few changes.
Over the last two years, this column – formerly Eye on Malawi’s EITI – has focussed on following Malawi’s journey towards compliance with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). We joined EITI as a nation in 2014 in a bid to improve transparency and accountability in the management of mining, oil, gas and forestry sectors with a concentration on how to best collect and use revenue from non-renewable resources. We have made great strides in the last two years by establishing a multi-stakeholder group of civil society, government and industry representatives to oversee the process, starting the first reporting cycle, and agreeing to disclose beneficial owners and make contracts public and easily accessible.
EITI is a key part, but only one part, of ensuring Malawi’s extractive industries is used to contribute to the national development agenda. It is especially valuable because it brings together as equals stakeholders with different interests. Beyond revenue management, the Africa Mining Vision, endorsed by all African heads of state at the African Union in 2009, points out the importance of enhancing geological and mineral information systems, building human and institutional capacity, promoting artisanal- and small-scale mining, improving mineral sector governance, increasing linkages, investment and diversification, and addressing environmental and social issues. This new column with a slightly new name – Eye on Malawi’s Extractives – will give room for more attention on these other areas over the next year while also following EITI. Using this space, I will explore borrowing some words from the Africa Mining Vision, how mineral resources can be exploited transparently, equitably and optimally to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development. Much has already been researched, said and done in these areas across the world, and it is worth reflecting on this as we move forward for our vision as a nation.
The article above was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 45 that is circulating this January 2017.