The African Development Bank (AfDB) last week approved the six-year strategy of the African Natural Resources Centre (ANRC).

The strategy is intended to operationalise the centre by spelling out its strategic approach to assisting governments in their management of the opportunities and challenges of natural resources management.

The strategy proposes two pillars, namely:

  •  integrated natural resource development planning to protect the environment through sustainable development; and
  •  good governance of natural resources to support negotiations, local content and transparency through public participation.

In respect of the value chain, the focus of the centre’s work will be on upstream natural resources management.

This means that the centre’s programme will focus on the raw material stage that includes project development but excludes processing and post processing stages. From a governance perspective this embodies provision of advice on policies laws and institutional frameworks that regulate projects at the raw material stage including policies that tackle challenges relating to promoting vertical and horizontal linkages.

The idea behind the establishment of the ANRC is to enhance African countries’ capacity to improve development outcomes from sustainable use of renewable and non-renewable resources. The centre will achieve this through interventions that increase the effectiveness of public and private sector governance and institutional frameworks.

The core business of the ANRC will be to provide support to regional member countries in natural resources policy design and policy dialogue. The desired outcomes are contribution towards transition to green growth through better governance of natural resources, enhanced economic impact on domestic economies and improved resources development planning resulting in containment of adverse social and environmental effects while maximising the economic impact of natural resource management on the lives of citizens.

The strategy outlines a programmatic approach that leverages complementarities with others. The centre will, thus, have an internal and external focus and will operate at country and regional levels. Internally, the centre will leverage the AfDB’s brand, regional outreach and experience in delivering projects to deepen internal expertise on renewables policy matters while expanding knowledge on non-renewables.

Externally, the ANRC will assist regional member countries and regional economic communities to increase economic deliverables from resources exploitation by building institutional capacity, providing policy advice, offering strategic guidance on investment choices and delivering technical assistance on regulatory matters. To build capacity to deliver programs, the ANRC will partner with other institutions to jointly deliver support programs using the Centre’s knowledge and advocacy tools.

The strategy proposes an innovative governance and funding models, which combine different expertise across the AfDB and among stakeholders, as well as and blend different sources of finance.

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