AfDB Shares Insights to Better Bargaining

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

At the ongoing Indaba: Investing in African Mining conference in Cape Town, South Africa, the African Development Bank (AfDB) held its maiden session as a presentation on its knowledge tool on support to negotiations followed by a panel discussion with experts and political leaders, on February 6 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

In addition to the Bank representatives, the two-hour session attracted private sector and government representatives, including Jean-Claude Brou, Minister of Mines and Industry for Côte d’Ivoire; Addi Azza, an Adviser to the Minister of Mines, Water and Environment, Kingdom of Morocco; Torge Hamkens of G7 CONNEX support unit; Sheila Khama of the World Bank; and the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) Director, Stephen Karangizi, as panelists.

The audience was a diverse mix of delegates – from private-sector players, representatives from governments, civil society organizations, and regional bodies across Africa and beyond.

Led by the African Natural Resources Center (ANRC), the session identified some of the key challenges and opportunities of supporting negotiation amongst the various stakeholders, such as private sector, civil society organizations, development partners and regional institutions.

A presentation of the ANRC’s knowledge tool on support to negotiations in the natural resources sector was made by Thomas Viot, Principal Domestic Linkages Officer at the ANRC.

The Center’s Acting Director, Amani Abou-Zeid, moderated the session whilst engaging each of the speakers on topical issues regarding the role of the different players in negotiations, how they can coordinate their efforts, and build the capacities of government representatives during negotiations of mining contracts with multinational companies in order to optimize benefits to governments.

Brou emphasized the need for this, saying, “The pre-negotiation preparations which form a key component of the negotiation process, are an area where governments need to strengthen their capacity, and that this is an area where support from development partners is needed.”

The session concluded, with an invitation to participants to further engage during the Mining Indaba conference and beyond, on partnering with the AfDB to support African countries to negotiate natural resources deals and document best practices at the negotiation table.

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