The Next Big Thing in Protecting Africa's Natural Resources To Avoid Conflict

As the raw material boom continues, Africa is realizing the huge potential of its natural resources. Careful management can reduce the possibility of conflict.

One of the many issues related to the development of natural resources in Africa is the possibility of conflicts within and between countries. At a recent meeting held in Harare, African intelligence leaders declared that the illegal exploitation of natural resources is a "national security issue" and pledged to "protect the African continent's natural resources and other resources from illegal exploitation and encroachment."

 
The 50 member states of the African Intelligence and Security Services Committee (CISSA) based in Addis Ababa held a meeting with the theme "African Natural Resources, Development and Security" contact". "[This] meeting believes that their country's sovereignty over its natural resources continues to exist," said Hapton Bonungwe, the retired major general who became President of Sissar. According to a report by Zimbabwe’s national newspaper, the Herald.
 
The African Union Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtan Ramamra, who spoke at the meeting, also told China’s Xinhua News Agency that natural resource conflicts “especially affect actors outside the African continent”. In the conflicts experienced by the African continent, you will find that natural resources are always at the center, whether publicly recognized or...as part of a hidden agenda.
 
According to Xinhua News Agency, he said that Africa needs to develop strategies to limit its use of natural resources, focusing on conflicts and making resources a boon to local residents. Obviously, illegal exploitation of natural resources in Africa is a serious problem. Organizations like the African Union (AU) and CISSA can do a lot to prevent governments and resolve conflicts arising from the exploitation of resources, such as the Democratic Republic of Africa. Congo. (DRK). However, this cannot be done without working closely with the citizens who use these resources. Oil and mineral income can also benefit Africa.
 
In the same week as the Harare meeting, the international participants of the Ottawa meeting in Canada discussed the same topics, but this time in the context of natural resource management for economic development.
The Southern Institute hosted the International Forum on Natural Resource Management for the Development of Africa. Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and other representatives discussed how to use the resources of the African continent as an engine for economic growth. Non-renewable resources promote economic development in a variety of ways, thereby bringing higher tax revenues to the country, improving service quality and providing more employment opportunities for local communities, and increasing the demand for goods and services, but these need to be properly managed .
 
In this context, organizations such as civil society and Transparency International have repeatedly called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to comply with the mandatory disclosure standards of Canadian extractive companies. These two issues cannot be viewed in isolation-internal concerns about security and the important role of global players like Canada. The Financial Times cited an example in its May 13 issue. In Somalia, attempts to split the oil group before the Mogadishu government extends its control to the entire country are undermining efforts to consolidate political and political gains in recent years.
 
A century ago, multinational companies BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Eni, and Shell purchased oil blocks in Somalia and began active exploration. By 1991, when the country disintegrated, everyone declared force majeure and shelved their projects. Thanks to the efforts of the African Union and the international community, stability has been restored, and interest in Somalia’s natural resources has resurfaced, with potentially devastating consequences.
PetroQuest Africa, a subsidiary of U.S. exploration company Liberty Petroleum, has signed an agreement with the Garmudug regional government, which claims to be located north of Mogadishu, which also claims sovereignty over Shell.
 
Ironically, the new federal constitution of Somalia stipulates that the mining industry will be under state rather than federal jurisdiction, similar to the regulations of Canada and Australia, allowing the local governor of Jamudug to claim jurisdiction.
 
The “Financial Times” concluded that “competing governments have given different companies rights to multiple overlapping oil groups, thus adjusting the political landscape of Somalia to suit their interests...” However, this is not just about foreign oil companies and foreign oil companies. The dispute between Somalia, but also between neighbors. The controversial water triangle is currently under discussion, in which the interests of Statoil, Total and Eni are the main motivation for Kenya’s military support for the African Union’s peacekeeping operation in Mogadishu.
 
The organization is currently advancing an ambitious effort to delimit all unmarked borders between countries. Abundant deposits of oil, natural gas or other raw materials along vaguely defined and unmarked borders may become the source of conflicts among African countries. There are many precedents related to actual or potential oil discoveries. This includes the Bakassi Peninsula, where Nigeria was finally ceded to Cameroon by the International Court of Justice in 2008. Rukwanz Island on Lake Albert is still the subject of a dispute between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda, while Malawi and Tanzania have disputes over the international border between the two countries. Lake Malawi country. The first to claim sovereignty over the entire 29,600 square kilometer lake between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.
 
As the raw material boom continues, Africa is realizing the huge potential of its natural resources. Good governance can reduce the possibility of destabilizing individual countries and causing conflicts, thereby forcing international investors in the extractive industry to transfer funds elsewhere.
 
Director of the Institute for Securities Studies.

Atolagbe Olamilekan

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