It’s no secret. Africa, for the most part, is run by populist governments. Those who win over the masses with their rhetoric of the promise of transformation will inevitably rule the roost.
This form of leadership has a chequered past; sometimes bringing positive change while being the death knell for countries on many occasions.
This article was first published in our weekly newsletter
Now, it will seem that the winds of transformational change sweeping through Africa’s mining industry are not being widely received by the sector, or are they?
For example, there has been growing consternation about the impact of the New Mining Code in the DRC.
But, it would seem that the industry is not quite pulling in the same direction.
A case in point: Last week Reuters reported that both Glencore and Eurasian Resources Group were reviewing their plans in the DRC following tax increases.
However, at the very same time, Barrick Gold and Ivanhoe Mines hobnobbed with new president President Félix Tshisekedi, during his recent visit to the USA, and came out in support of his changes to the industry.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am firmly behind transformation for the betterment of all, but at the same time I don’t believe that you should bite the hand that feeds you.
Also, I don’t think you can sit on the fence and make statements just to appease those who give you licence to carry out your operations.
What is needed is a united front – either you are for or against proposed or already implemented changes.
This needs to be followed up with proper dialogue between industry and government where compromises are reached so that everyone benefits.
Remember a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
If there isn’t consensus among key industry players, I’m afraid the battle to ensure that business remains sustainable and profitable is already lost.
Please send your thoughts and opinions to Gerard Peter / Senior Editor