Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the largest endowments of mineral resources in the world. However, decades of mining activity have not created corresponding advances in socio-economic development. One of the causes of this paradox is the lack of supply chain linkages between domestic suppliers and mining investment in Sub-Saharan African countries. International mining operations in this region have tended to import goods and services to meet the needs of their operations, rather than prioritize purchasing from local suppliers.
This collaborative project was inspired by a growing debate about the role host-country governments can play to ensure that benefits from mining activities are shared more equitably between mining companies and host countries.
The project was designed in four phases:
Phase I – Foundational Research
Phase II – Field Research
Phase III – Knowledge Sharing
Phase IV – Evaluation
The research team consulted with stakeholders from government, communities and industry throughout the four phases of the project, ensuring that the research developed in this study reflects a range experiences and that its findings are felt beyond the project completion.
The project examined the local procurement regulatory framework of South Africa and Namibia and the extent to which the local procurement strategies of the mining companies that operate within those countries align with and are affected by this framework. Research also identified common factors that influence mining companies as they create local procurement strategies.
Following field research in Namibia and South Africa and consultations with stakeholders, the final report was released in February 2017. Findings were shared with mining regulators and other stakeholders in Namibia, South Africa, and globally. The research findings in the report focus on:
The final research report was launched at Mining Indaba 2017 in South Africa and at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), where the findings of the report were shared with mining regulators and other stakeholders from across Sub-Saharan Africa. Further dissemination has occurred via CIRDI’s and EWB’s networks and at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference in March 2017. The project team has proposed further work in collaboration with African universities and NGOs to advance the report’s recommendations and explore opportunities for future research.
The research generated through this project is highly relevant to Sub-Saharan African mining regulators as it examines the extent to which local procurement regulations have been effective in incentivizing mining companies to purchase local goods and services. Key research findings were shared with mining regulators from the countries of focus via the final research report to increase awareness among regulators and mining companies on the mutual benefits of local procurement. It is hoped that this knowledge exchange will enhance awareness and increased adoption of local procurement policies that contribute to desired social and economic development outcomes.