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


Burkina Faso, Senegal

Focus Area





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 supported 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 was aimed 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 ensured 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 was the improvement of mineral sector governance in UEMOA member states, particularly in the areas of transparency, traceability of production, reporting and public participation.

Project Results

The program, approved in 2014 and implemented by the École Polytechnique de Montréal (EPM), had four components which strengthen the capacity of four groups: 1) Union Monétaire Ouest Africaine (UÉMOA), for promoting the sustainable development of an integrated mining sector, 2) the Ministry of Industry and Mining in Senegal, through the preparation of a Letter for Sectoral policy development, 3) the local actors at the regional level, through a study of the regional context of Kédougou and 4) two selected universities one in Burkina Faso (University Ouaga I Pr. Joseph Ki-Zerbo) and one in Senegal (University Cheikh Anta Diop), for establishing a Master’s program in Environment and Mining Waste Management.

  • The first component strengthened the regional capacity of UÉMOA for the sustainable development of an integrated mining sector, with constant support for the preparation of a regional strategy document. This document was submitted and adopted by the College of Commissioners of the UÉMOA. These efforts resulted in the elaboration of a document for the development of an integrated and sustainable mining sector within UÉMOA. That strategy was validated by the department representatives within UÉMOA and endorsed by the member states in order to support a common understanding of the sector. Tools were proposed for the strategy’s operationalization, such as a road map which will be updated by the interdepartmental committee of mining, a performance measurement framework, a risk register and a proposed action plan for the future projects in line with the strategy.
  • The second component, in Senegal, strengthened the understanding of integrated and sustainable mining sector development and management. The second component also strengthened the understanding of the elaboration and adoption of a Mining Sectoral Policy Letter by the Ministry of Industry and Mining of Senegal. That policy paper was elaborated in a participatory fashion and was validated by the Government of Senegal. That letter was accompanied by an implementation plan, a road map and an action plan. To support this policy’s implementation, two workshops were held for the various directors of the Ministry. One workshop was held on Results-Based Management and the other was held on Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • The third component, also in Senegal, increased the participation of local actors through the preparation of a study on the mining sector in the regional context of Kédougou. This study was then provided to the relevant authorities to facilitate its implementation. A consultation with a dozen structures (institutions) and 75 people was carried out during the mission of January 2015 in order to carry out the study, which was limited to the region of Kedougou.
  • The fourth component strengthened the capacity of partners at the University Ouaga I Pr. Joseph Ki-Zerbo and the University Cheikh Anta Diop and consolidated their expertise through the establishment of a new Master’s program in Environment and Mining Waste Management. This program will facilitate the training of a specialized 120
    workforce and support applied research projects, continuing education courses, and the implementation of an industry internship program. In Burkina Faso, the new Master’s program was launched in October 2017 (10 students). The first year has been successfully completed and a second cohort is planned. Internships at mining companies have started for two students and the rest will take place at the end of their studies. In Senegal, the new Master’s program was approved at the end of 2017 and was launched in July 2018. A selection of students (15) will start the new program, which is for January 2019. Internships will occur at the end of the study program. In both Senegal and Burkina Faso, ÉPM provided supporting material. Nine teachers in Burkina Faso and eight teachers in Senegal will be involved in those new courses. Themes for research projects were discussed with partners as well as with several professors from ÉPM and the University in Ouagadougou. Themes will continue to be developed and discussed with partners in 2019 in order to sustain educational activities with mining companies and other actors.

Intended Impact

The project aimed 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. It sought 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


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