Mining and Development: Lessons Learnt from South Africa and Beyond

Photo: Media Club, Graeme Williams
Photo: Media Club, Graeme Williams

Africa is blessed with an abundance of mineral resources, yet it remains poor by most measures. Recent high growth rates have yet to translate into inclusive development. The continent must harness its mineral wealth to build human capital and industries that allow it to diversify away from commodity concentration.

Commodity-dependent economies are susceptible to price volatility in global markets, which makes long-term planning difficult. Mineral resources are also finite. Diversification through immediately available mineral wealth is critical to long-run wellbeing. However, diversification funded by mineral wealth requires material improvement in the institutions governing mineral extraction. A better understanding of the incentives generated by formal and informal institutions is critical for successful implementation of resource governance initiatives on the continent. Reflections on South Africa’s mining governance and industrial relations frameworks demonstrate how important context-specific understanding is for crafting policies that gain meaningful development recognition.

3 Apr 2014
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Research by
Series
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 86, April 2014
Region
Sub-Saharan Africa
Country
South Africa
SAIIA Programme
Governance of Africa’s Resources
Tags
Diversification, Mining, Ross Harvey
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