Historically troubled when it comes to mining governance, Guinea has recently turned a corner. The government is reviewing all mining contracts in order to align them with a revised new code and to make these pacts public.
Conakry is also looking for ways to transform non-renewable resources into sustainable development gains. A shared mining vision between the state, operators, local communities and civil society is crucial for Guinea’s economic development.
June’s Responsible Mineral Development Initiative (RMDI) roundtable homed in on this concept. Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Geology, in partnership with the World Economic Forum, the International Finance Corporation, UNDP, the African Minerals Development Centre and GIZ, participated in the launch, which sets the stage for a national roundtable in November.
The upcoming meeting will focus on identifying priority themes, areas for joint action and possible approaches to accelerate Guinea mineral development. The debate should inform the government’s national strategic plan for the mining sector, which aims to align the varied expectations of stakeholders groups.
During the June event, participants heard about the realities and opportunities presented by the mineral sector and addressed the concerns of communities living in mining areas.
Participants in the launch of the Responsible Mineral Development Initiative Roundtable in Guinea. Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Mines and Geology of Guinea.
Minister of Mines and Geology Abdoulaye Magassouba noted that the major challenge facing all stakeholders is ensuring sector profits are shared. This profit sharing is important because it helps avoid conflicts, mitigating mining’s negative impacts and defining the responsibilities of sector participants. Prime Minister Mamady Youla agreed that balancing varied stakeholder interests in Guinean mining is key.
NRGI has been a driving force in the roundtable’s launch. NRGI worked closely with the advisor to the president on mining issues; it acted as focal point for Guinea’s government and provided technical support. NRGI has provided embedded technical assistance to the Ministry of Mines for five years and is now a trusted partner of the minister and his team.
Marie-Joséphine Nsengiyumva is an economic analyst and leads NRGI’s technical assistance program in Conakry, Guinea.