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By WACSOF 16 April, 2019 1677

WACSOF ORGANISED A REGIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY CONSULTATION ON ECOWAS HARMONISED MINING POLICY

WACSOF organized a consultation meeting with Civil Society Organisations from the 15 countries of ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) to make meaningful inputs to the ECOWAS Model Mining & Mineral Development Act (EMMMDA) before the upcoming ECOWAS expert meeting. Civil Society participation input to the EMMMDA is necessary in bringing tax justice angle and citizen protection view in the formulation of this important document.

MEDIA COVERAGE 

 

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RECOMMANDATIONS

Some of the General Recommendations from the workshop are:
• It is recommended that the model act should be revised to clearly differentiate between violations that warrant licence/lease suspension and those that may lead to licence/lease revocation.

• It is recommended a mechanism be provided for communities to resolve human rights grievances with mineral rights holders.

• It is recommended conflict of interest of interest provisions be included in the model act

• It is recommended for inclusion of provision in the model act requiring mining companies with mining licenses and/or agreements in ECOWAS Member States to disclose their corporate structure, affiliates, and beneficial ownership on an annual basis.

• It is also recommended the model act include a provision that will enjoin Member States to publish the mining contracts in any form which can be publicly accessible.

• It is recommended that the provisions concerning small-scale and artisanal mining be revised to make it less complex

• It is recommended that it is in the Member States’ interest to accomplish dispute resolution through their domestic courts whenever possible or some other regional dispute resolution systems.

• It is recommended a provision be made to prohibit child labour in mining activities and also prohibit mineral rights holders from utilizing goods of companies that use child labour in their production in the model.

CONCLUSION
Upon the completion of the two-day workshop, the Civil Society Organizations which reviewed the ECOWAS Model Mining and Mineral Development Act drafted a CSO proposal for the amendment of the EMMMDA. The proposed amendment s to ensure that the Act harmonises all the legal policies in the mining regimes within West Africa, to ensure that community member states can adopt the mining Act and use it appropriately to develop mining laws that will govern their mining sector. It is expected that the model Act is going to be the framework upon which each country would be required to model their mining laws.

PARTNERS

Thanks to FORD FOUNDATION and ECOWAS for the support

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