Mining stakeholders in Africa set to have a common law

Tuesday April 26 2016

Fluorspar mining in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. A

Fluorspar mining in Elgeyo-Marakwet County. A model mining law for stakeholders in Africa is set to be launched in Kenya on April 27, 2016. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By WINNIE ATIENO
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The push by various mining stakeholders in Africa to have a common mining law is set to be achieved as a model mining law is set to be launched in Kenya this week.

Once adopted, the law, which is a product of a synthesis of case studies, will solve a number of issues affecting communities living in areas endowed with natural resources.

“The studies were carried out in communities in five countries among them Angola, DRC, South Africa, Zimbabwe and in Kenya [where it] was carried out in one of the oldest mining areas, the Kenya Fluorspar Mining in Kerio Valley,” said International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa (Ianra) coordinator Anne Mayher.

The document is a product of case studies on human rights impact as per the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (African Charter), she added.

“We have been having complaints on infringement of human rights at community level. That is why we decided to carry out research at grassroots level so as to have legislation owned by community,” read a press statement sent to newsrooms.

PROCEDURE FOR LAND ACQUISITION

Among the principles in the document are setting procedure of acquisition of land and resettlement of people whenever minerals are discovered in their ancestral land.

It also calls for easy and quick access to justice with calls for the State to bear the primary responsibility by setting up independent and accessible grievance mechanisms composed of a panel of environmental, legal and social experts which shall be established through a community consultation process.

Natural Resources Alliance of Kenya (KeNRA) officer Mwambi Mwikamba, described the document as one of the best legislations if adopted adding that it will end atrocities experienced in all mining areas, not only in Kenya, but in other parts of Africa.

Mr Mwikamba said the principles are part of the proposals which have been included in the Mining Bill 2015 which is waiting for assent by the president.

“The document comes at a time when Kenya is in the process of changing from colonial mining law to a new legislation which tries to adopt some of these principles.

"The Bill, which has passed different stages, tries to address some of these issues, if not all,” said Mr Mwikamba.

“We shall continue to lobby for the adoption of these principles to end conflicts being experienced between various mining stakeholders, among them government-Community, community-investors and government-investors,” he added.

The new law is set to be launched at Ngondi in Naivasha on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.