Building Community Voice in the Mining Sector

The mining sector is central to a growing number of African economies. Since 2000, most foreign direct investment into the continent has been directed to the mining sector. Many African governments believe that mining-led growth is one of the few opportunities to develop and catch up with other countries. But while the polarised debate about whether largescale mining is a “driver” of development or a “curse” continues, the view from the mostly rural communities that have been directly affected by mining seems to be clear. Despite the jobs that mining may provide, it is contributing very little to improve the overall living conditions at the local level. Instead, host communities face many negative impacts, including resettlement, environmental pollution, health hazards and the disruption of livelihoods.

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