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New Book Looks at the Fragile Foundations of the African Mining Consensus

Within a few years of independence, African governments asserted sovereignty over their metal and mineral resources. Prior to this, the resources were exploited by European mining corporations. Since the 1990s, transnational corporations have once again become the dominant force as owners and managers of major mining projects. The ceding of resource sovereignty was enabled by pathologising the African state and demonising African miners. However, recent mining code and policy revisions led by African governments such as Tanzania, the DRC, Sierra Leone and Malawi have begun to push back against this dominance. They draw inspiration from the Africa Mining Vision, a framework developed by the African Union in 2009 to deepen the linkages between foreign-owned mining and national economies. The vision also seeks to strengthen government capacity to negotiate with and secure developmental benefits from foreign mining corporations.