SarWatch Writer
Namibia: Alweendo Says Africans Are Justified for Wanting to Benefit From Extraction of Minerals

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo said Africans have good reason in demanding to see better returns from the extraction of their mineral resources.

Alweendo, who delivered the opening address at the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business Breakfast Meeting in Toronto, Canada on Tuesday said the meeting comes at a time when across the continent the African people are demanding that they see better returns from the extraction of their mineral resources, adding that they are therefore justified in demanding that their standard of living must improve.

Alweendo stressed that elected political representatives should no longer rely solely on political rhetoric and sloganeering to win elections, adding that the African electorate is increasingly educated, worldly, understand and expect that elected political office bearers provide the leadership that will enable smart investment that delivers win-win outcomes.

“It is not that the African citizens do not understand the complexity of investing in the extractive industry – because they do. They understand very well that the extractive industry is an expensive business. They understand that we need partners who will bring the necessary expertise and capital in exchange for the rights and privilege to explore and extract the mineral resources. But they also hope for a mutually beneficially relationship with the investment community; a relationship built on a concept of shared economic benefits,” Alweendo said.

The minister said in order for mining operations to make a profit for the shareholders while serving and impacting society, African politics and policies particularly those on License to Operate and sustainability, need to change.

He highlighted that in its broadest definition, Licence to Operate is beyond meeting the regulatory approvals and obtaining exploration licenses and mining licenses, adding that it is about presenting a manifesto to the communities and the people where you intend to mine; and that manifesto needs to showcase how you plan to make life better for them.

“This will include providing decent jobs, respecting local and community cultures and customs – as well as immersing yourself as a corporate member of that community and making a contribution to the broader advancement of that community,” Alweendo said.

He further said governments on the African continent still need to do far more to strengthen the culture of governance, ethical and professional leadership, adding that strong governance structures and ethical conduct at all times amongst front line officials, senior executives and political leaders must become sacrosanct.

“The trouble with unethical leadership is that it erodes public trust. It undermines the mandate to govern that the electorate bestows on politicians. It also harms the businesses and the enterprises expected to operate in an environment where good governance is not adhered to. Indeed our economies will grow much faster and sustainably only when have dismantled and eliminated all regressive obstacles from doing business in Africa,” Alweendo said.


More news from Sarwatch


SARW is engaged in a process of capacity building for Decentralised Territorial Entities (DTEs) in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). As part of this...

+ Read more
First Quantum Minerals’ Hypocrisy Exposed

The Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) is pleased that First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Kansanshi mine has finally appointed a Zambian as the mine’s General Manager....

+ Read more
Justice for Miners Campaign Press Release: 10 July 2020

The Justice for Miners Campaign is concerned about the slow rate at which the Tshiamiso Trust is executing its mandate to pay out sick miners. The...

+ Read more
SARW is Concerned Covid 19 Could send more children into ASM

In observance of the World Day Against Child Labour, established by the United Nations’ (UN) International Labour Organization (ILO), the Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW)...

+ Read more
Protecting Nature against Extractivism Amidst COVID-19

On 5 June the world celebrates World Environment Day, and the theme for 2020 is “Time for Nature.” This year’s commemoration is unique, as the...

+ Read more
Pursuing An Economic Independence Through the Control of Mineral Resources

Today we celebrate Africa Day at a time we are grappling with the health pandemic of COVID19. COVID 19 could reduce by more than half...

+ Read more