Who we are
SARW works for participatory, transparent and accountable utilisation sof extractive resources in a manner that optimises transformative social and economic benefits and inter-generational equity, with sensitivity to environmental and human rights impacts.
Improved human conditions through good governance of the region’s resources.
The Southern Africa Resource Watch was founded in 2007 and operated as a project within the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA). Its location and operations were primarily in SADC, well known as the world’s richest region in terms of extractive resources. While its establishment was related to the global natural resources boom of the 2000s, SARW outlived that specific economic boom as well as numerous extractive industry cycles over the years. Since June 2018, SARW was transformed from an OSISA project into an independent watchdog institution. In spite of the change in its institutional structure and form, SARW remains committed to achieving excellence and maintaining good organisational reputation through a high-quality work ethic. It remains focused on ensuring that Africans benefit optimally from resource extraction.
Currently SARW’s mandate is to monitor corporate state conduct in the extraction and beneficiation of natural resources in Southern Africa and assesses to what extent these activities uplift the economic conditions of the region's communities.
SARW advocates and promotes human rights and environmental protection in resource extraction activities by monitoring corporate and state conduct in a peaceful and collaborative manner.
- Monitor corporate and state conduct in the extraction and beneficiation of natural resources in Southern Africa and assess to what extent these activities uplift the economic conditions of the region’s communities.
- Generate and consolidate research and advocacy on natural resource extraction in Southern Africa.
- Create informed awareness of the specific dynamics of natural resources in Southern Africa, building a distinctive understanding of the regional geo-political dynamics of resource economics.
- Provide a platform of action, coordination and organisation for communities, activists, researchers, policy-makers, corporations, regional and global governing bodies in the watching and strengthening of corporate and state accountability in extractive industries.
- Engage with and support government on building accountable and transparent management of extractive resources.
- Build capacity for communities, civil society, parliaments, and media to hold governments and corporations to account, and to participate in decisions about resource management.
- Advocate and promote human rights and environmental protection in resource extraction activities.
- Support efforts to legislate mandatory public disclosure of and access to financial, social, environmental and regulatory compliance information in the extractives industry.
- Promote extractive industries that create wealth for local communities.
SARW has forged mutually beneficially partnerships due to:
- experience and proven track record
- ability to act fast and get things done
- integrity and fairness
- physical presence in the region
SARW is convinced it will narrow the gap between the abundance of resources and the extreme poverty in those areas through:
Transparency: The way in which governments distribute resources must be known to the communities
Accountability: Governments need to respond to communities on time and in a fair manner to ensure that their concerns are being addressed – and acted on timeously
Equity: Resources (and profits) must be distributed to ALL partners in the “channel” in a fair manner