A Fair Deal for Africa’s Resources

Many governments of resource-rich African countries lack the capacity to negotiate complex contracts with foreign investors. In the absence of a level playing field for negotiations, governments often deem contracts unfair – an outcome that benefits no one.

WINDHOEK – Namibia is a resource-based economy that has embarked on an ambitious development program. Our vision is to turn Namibia into a knowledge-based, diversified economy by 2030.

One of the major principles upon which this vision is based is the idea of “partnerships” – a major prerequisite for the achievement of dynamic, efficient, and sustainable development. Partnerships between governments and foreign investors are at the core of the sound management of natural resources. But such partnerships can’t be taken for granted on a continent where the quest for natural resources has fueled decades of violent conflict.

Genuine partnership is difficult to achieve when resource-rich countries view foreign mining and drilling companies only as adversaries, seeking unfair and inequitable contracting agreements. From the perspective of companies, partnership is unattractive when they are forced to incur large losses owing to project disruptions and contract renegotiations.

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