New Fulbright-Clinton Fellow in Malawi’s Ministry of Mining to focus on oil exploration negotiations

On 29 July 2013, the US Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the second cohort of J. William Fulbright-Hilary Rodham Clinton (Fulbright-Clinton) fellows to mark the beginning of the journey for the 23 Americans as “special assistants” in government ministries and institutions across the world. David Kienzler has been selected to work with Malawi’s Ministry of Mines.

Kienzler, who is interested “in the intersection of business and human rights”, will spend ten months with the Ministry of Mines, starting in October 2013. He writes on his blog that he will be

working on oil exploration negotiation issues. Currently, the plan is for me to also do some work on mining contracts and agreements and conduct training and outreach on the mining sector and its potential to boost economic growth.

[...] I could not be more excited for the opportunity to continue my work on resource extraction issues from the new perspective of within a host government. While I am there, I hope to research the steps governments take to address the disparity of expertise with complex resource extraction issues when negotiating agreements with multinational corporations.

The Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship is a public policy fellowship that was inaugurated in 2012. The American fellows will gain hands on experience in the public sector of participating countries and simultaneously carry out an academic research projects.

Malawi will also receive two other fellows - Joshua Cauthen has a placement in the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and Jodie Vanyo has a placement in the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Management.

Young professionals in Malawi require this sort of learning experience, especially in the extractive industry because of its recent growing importance. Just this week, a commentator on Nyasa Times wrote that young professionals are a “neglected development pillar in Malawi“. It is thus a welcome development that 10 students have been selected to study mining engineering and geology in Botswana.

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