In February 2017, as a result of a joint collaborative research project funded by Global Affairs Canada (The Relationship between Local Procurement Strategies of Mining Companies and Their Regulatory Environments, Namibia and South Africa), the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI), and Engineers Without Borders Canada – Mining and Shared Value (EWB-MSV) released a report which examined the relationship between local procurement regulations and mining company practices in the South African and Namibian mining sectors. Following the report’s release, it was timely to build on its findings and to explore possible next steps in order to sustain this project’s impact.
Therefore, on December 5, 2018, CIRDI, EWB-MSV and the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) hosted a dialogue event with stakeholders in order to advance the issue of local procurement within Namibia and regionally in the African continent. The primary purpose of this forum in Namibia was knowledge exchange. The forum aimed to address the following questions, among others:
- What local procurement opportunities exist in Namibia’s mining sector?
- What are the key barriers to local procurement?
- How do procurement processes incentivize or disincentivize female entrepreneurs?
The forum’s objectives included: the provision of a dialogue space for suppliers and mining companies; the generation of confidence in local institutions and actors and to inspire new collaboration in local procurement; the encouragement of further research in Namibia to support mining regulators and company practices; and to increase the development impact of a previous joint collaborative research project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), CIRDI, and EWB.
The forum included keynote speeches, presentations, and panel and group discussions. It was attended by stakeholders in government, the Chamber of Mines Namibia, local mining companies, local suppliers to the mining industry, academia from Namibia, NGOs, and the media. The keynote speakers were Mr. Isabeau Vilandre, CIRDI’s Director of SUMM Ethiopia, and Mr. Zebra Kasete, President of the Chamber of Mines of Namibia and Vice President and Managing Director for Dundee Precious Metals Tsumeb. These presentations and panel discussions were augmented by the participants, who had opportunities to ask about and comment on the subject.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Kasete stated that “local procurement, mostly anchored in value addition in Namibia, is the most impactful avenue for mining to contribute to sustainable and broad-based economic and social transformation immediately. There are challenges that we can work on together and resolve to streamline the activities.”
This report concludes with a recommendation of potential areas for further research and action in Namibia to enhance local procurement in its mining sector.