Program for Strengthening the Governance of the Extractive Sector in West Africa


Burkina Faso, Senegal

Focus Area

Public sector capacity and governance




Ghislain Rivard

sustainable development goals


$3,213,000 CAN


Global Affairs Canada

Who Benefits

Government of Senegal

University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal

University of Ouaga I, Ouagadougou,

Burkina Faso

West African Economic and Monetary Union

Delivery Partners

École Polytechnique Montréal

West African Economic and Monetary Union

Government of Senegal

University of Cheikh Anta Diop, Dakar, Senegal

University of Ouaga I, Ouagadougou,

Burkina Faso

The Challenge

Despite a long mining tradition, particularly in gold, the countries of West Africa had minimal experience in industrial mining until the 1980s. With the surge in gold prices in the late 1990s, the global mining industry discovered the natural resource potential of the region and the mineral sector rapidly became an important source of revenue for governments. However the sector was contributing little to the social development of the region. In 2009 with the adoption of the African Mining Vision, African leaders committed to a comprehensive development approach that integrates mining with development policy. They saw the sector as a potential vehicle for growth, enrichment and development but realized that mining can only contribute to the transformation of the continent if it supports socio-economic growth that meets national and regional development goals.

CIRDI's Approach

By working directly with governments from the West African Economic and Monetary Union (known by its French acronym, UEMOA), particularly Senegal and Burkina Faso, the program will support efforts for a transparent, integrated and environmentally and socially responsible extractive sector that provides sustainable benefits to the community, country and region. Specifically, the program aims to strengthen the capacity of UEMOA and its member states for improved governance of the extractive sector in order to maximize its contribution to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

Project Details

Delivery partners have requested assistance from CIRDI, as a neutral partner, to help strengthen national and sub-regional institutions. The core program activities are:

  1. Approve a strategy document for the sustainable development of a mining sector (extractive) integrated within UEMOA
  2. In Senegal, at the national level, adopt a Sectoral Development Policy Letter (LPSD) and its Implementation Plan (PMO)
  3. Establish a Master’s Program on Environment and Mining Waste Management.

Using a transparent, integrated and sustainable approach to mining governance, the project encompasses:

  • Legislative, policy and regulatory frameworks
  • Capacity and institution building
  • Environmental and social management
  • Economic strengthening and diversification
  • Shared and integrated social responsibility between all actors of society

Cross-cutting themes


  • The program team ensures not only the inclusion of women’s groups in consultation processes, but also the recognition of equality between men and women as a guiding principle of policy development.


  • Preservation of the environment and biodiversity is cited as a guiding principle in policy development.


  • The overarching goal is the improvement of mineral sector governance in UEMOA member states, particularly in the areas of transparency, traceability of production, reporting and public participation.


To date the project has achieved results in four areas.

  1. Support to UEMOA
    • In December 2016, member states validated a draft strategy for the sustainable development of a mining sector integrated within the UEMOA.
  1. Support to Governments
    • Submitted the draft of the Sectoral Development Policy (LPSD) Letter and its Implementation Plan (PMO) to Government of Senegal in December 2016.   The process included consultation with six target groups (mining industry, private sector, women in mining, civil society, artisanal miners, local authorities and elected officials) to improve the government’s knowledge of the issues and actors in the sector.
  1. Support for multi-stakeholder dialogue
    • Completed a study of the mining sector in the Kédougou region of Senegal.
  1. Strengthening of academic capacity
    • Signed collaborative agreements with the University Ouaga I Pr Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ouagadougou) and the University of Cheikh Anta Diop (Dakar), for the development of a Master’s Program in Environment and Mining Waste Management.

Intended Impact

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of UEMOA in the development of an integrated mining sector, and implement integrated and responsible mining management by the governments of target countries. Concurrently, it seeks to increase the involvement of local actors in dialogue on integrated development of the mining sector, and strengthen the capacity of selected universities to develop and implement training and research.

project team


updates and news

Environment and Mining Waste Management Master’s Program: Launched in Burkina Faso supported by Polytechnique Montréal

On October 10, 2017, the University Ouaga I Professeur Joseph Ki-Zerbo of Burkina Faso launched a graduate degree program in Environment and Mining Waste Management, which has been developed with the support […]

Read more

West African professors visit Polytechnique Montréal and tour Quebec mines

In May/June 2017, the CIRDI Polytechnique Montréal team welcomed a delegation of academics from Senegal and Burkina Faso to Montreal to work jointly on a new Master’s program in Environment […]

Read more
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