Frank Mugyenyi: Response to Reuters: Race to Refine: The bid to clean up Africa’s Gold Rush

Original Article: Response to Reuters: Race to Refine: The bid to clean up Africa’s gold rush. Are more refineries likely to lead to race to the bottom? The answer is yes and no; yes, if the refineries operate in an unregulated environment and no if Africa puts her house in order and put in place regulatory frameworks and mechanisms that are in line with the African Union vision and agenda. I entirely agree that the proliferation of unregulated refineries will not help Africa in her quest for socioeconomic integration, inclusive growth and sustainable development defined by Africa’s Agenda 2063, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as well as the Global Agenda 2030 or SDGs. Nevertheless, Africa must not relent in her struggle to ensure that her resources (human and natural) optimally contribute to the Africa we as Africans want (The Africa We Want) defined by the Aspirations of the Agenda 2063. In this regard, Africa must put her house in order. In 2009 the AU Assembly adopted the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) and in January 2019 (last year) Ministers responsible for Trade, Industry and Minerals meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for their Specialised Technical Committee for Trade Industry and Minerals (STC-TIM) endorsed the Africa Minerals Governance Framework (AMGF) as an Africa owned and home grown governance framework and an Instrument of the AMV among others. It is therefore imperative that other frameworks Africa and non-African are aligned to AMGF and thus AMV. The issue of involving Africa Post-Ante instead of Ex-Ante in finding solutions to her development needs must end. It is a thing of yesteryear. So Africa needs a regulatory framework that will govern the refineries and other resource industries that will ensure optimal benefits accrue to all. Win-Win not one sided regulations that malign Africa. Sadly, the end market of Global Minerals Value Chain (GMVC) is regulated by organizations and countries that don’t own resources. This exacerbates conflicts and corruption as it justifies their very existence. Suffice to know that MADI will be working with both sides (African and OECD) countries to come up with a solution that recognizes African Governance mechanisms, frameworks and systems that conform to international norms and standards so that African Countries can benefit from their resources. This will be in line with AMV Principles and for Africa AMV instruments that are adopted by Heads of State and Government of the African Union should be supreme. MADI intends to ensure that OECD and other Non-African regulatory and governance mechanisms (mandatory and voluntary) are in line with Africa Mining Vision and work for Africa to achieve her development Agenda. As of now these have not and will definitely not help Africa.