ATPS Executive Director, Dr Nicholas Ozor leads a Policy Discussion on Mining and Agriculture in Africa
The ATPS Executive Director, Dr. Nicholas Ozor led a policy discussion on Mining and Agriculture in Africa during the Australia Awards Symposium held from 8th to 10th October at Speke Resort in Kampala, Uganda. The theme of the Symposium was ‘Mining and Agriculture: From Resource Curse to Development Driver’ and attracted over 150 delegates from across Africa and Australia to discuss a broad range of topics related to mining and agriculture and ways in which to further harness these key sectors to support development efforts on the continent.
One of such hot topics that was discussed was on “What policy issues that must be considered for the development of the agricultural and mining sectors? Leading the discussion on this topic, Dr Nicholas Ozor emphasized the need to have a policy enabling environment to drive the agriculture and mining industries and development in Africa. The discusson centred on: Identifying ways of removing the policy barriers that prevent the development of the agriculture and mining industries on the continent; Identifying the policy landscape favourable for agricultural and mining investment and development to happen; and identifying the nexus that exists between agriculture and mining that has policy implications.
From the discussions, it emerged that inclusive policy formulation and implementation is the key for enhancing the agriculture and mining industry. Such policies should be formulated with clear strategies for implementation and enforcement through enhanced institutional capacity at the local levels to meet the varying local needs. A ‘National System of Innovation (NSI)’ was proposed as a potential solution for addressing the disconnects that exist between and among different actors in the sectors. The NSI will aim to bring together various ministries to progress a national development plan that invlove every other stakeholder including researchers, civil society, private sector, farmers and farmer associations and community based organizations among others. The implementation and enforcement of existing policies must also be regularly monitored and evaluated to be able to capture new and emerging issues for consideration and improvement of the existing policies.
Seven nexus factors were identified as important to be considered in the course of formulating policies for agriculture and mining. These include:
Land - land tenure, traditional land systems, post mine closure, land use systems;
Water - availability for multiple users, minimised water pollution, and availability;
Infrastructure - in terms of enhancing the local economy, assets, integration of the needs of planning, roads, electricity, ICT, health, job creation and employment, and security, etc;
Culture - consideration of historical sites, shrines, indigenous knowledge systems and practices, and seasonal migration issues and preferences;
Labour - planning for sectoral personnel needs, associate training and education demands, engagements, labour relations and laws, etc;
Supply chain - linkages between agricultural production meeting the needs of the construction and mining operational phases; and
Externality factors - consideration of conflict, and the implication of the effect of mining on agriculture (and vice-versa, and also with other industries). The impact of the mining sector being a preferred activity over other policy priorities akin to “the Dutch disease”. Post mining economy considerations to prevent economic and social contraction post mining and refining activity.
Participants during this session were drawn from a wide range of experts across Africa and Australia and were convened by Dr Nicholas Ozor of the ATPS. Other participants include: Phil Gorey (Australia), Tracey Johnson (Australia Awards), Sylvester Akansiak (Ghana), Philip Kilonzo (Action Aid Kenya), Juma Yakuti (Tanzania), Davis Osoro (Eso, Kenya), Mark McHenry (Australia), Moses Nadiode (Uganda), Jackson Makupa (Zambia), Fatima Momade (Mozambique), Florence Nicholas Msheze (Nigeria), Serah Greno (Nigeria), and Ayo Olawumi (Nigeria), Anywhere Sibanje (Zimbabwe).
Posted on Sunday 3rd April, 2016