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Zimbabwe Manicaland and Midlands Provincial Alternative Mining Indabas

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Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) recently hosted the inaugural Zimbabwe Provincial Alternative Mining Indabas (PAMIs) in Manicaland and Midlands on the 24th -25th of March 2013 and 9th – 10th of May 2013 respectively. The two were held under the theme “Making Mining Responsive to Community needs”. The objective of convening these indabas was to provide an open platform for communities affected by mining operations to discuss the impacts of mining on livelihoods, human rights and environmental sustainability and come up with workable strategies and solutions that will result in their rights being respected by government and mining companies. The discussions and deliberations during the PAMI enabled communities to share experiences and strategies on how to demand for the respect of their rights by government and mining companies. The other result was the identification of key legal and policy gaps that should be addressed by government. Read the full report here .


Call for Mining Companies to Pay Corporation Tax

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Tanzania has reported that only Resolute Resources paid corporation tax in the financial year of 2010/11 after closing down its Nzega gold mine in Tabora while Barrick Gold Corporation may close down Bulyanhulu and North Mara gold mines in the next decade without paying similar tax. Resolute which has operated Nzega gold mine for over 15 years, before closing down last year, paid 37.2bn/- as corporate tax for its last two years of operations. Tanzania Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (TEITI) Chairman, Justice Mark Bomani said in Dar es Salaam on Friday that Barrick which is the country's largest gold miner owning three mines including Buzwagi, has a backlog of 1.3 billion US dollars (over 2.1trn/-) losses which it is recovering. Read more.


Obama launches US$7bn African energy plan

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USA President ObamaPresident Obama launched a $7bn energy plan for Africa at the University of Cape Town (UCT) in Cape Town, South Africa as part of his African tour recently. The Power Africa scheme aims to double energy access in sub-Saharan Africa where more than two-thirds of the population currently has no electricity. “We’re going to start by investing $7 billion in US government resources. We’re going to partner with the private sector, who themselves have committed more than $9 billion in investment. And in partnership with African nations, we’re going to develop new sources of energy,” said Obama during a speech in Cape Town. Read more.


Will the G8 food security alliance benefit Africa’s small farmers?

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The New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, set up by the G8 in 2012, has met with criticism from a number of NGOs. Many share concerns that it will enable big business to dictate agricultural policy to advance their own interests. We reflect on the pros and cons of the G8's new alliance. The G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition was set up last year under the US presidency, with the aim of improving food security in Africa by stimulating private investment in the agriculture sector. In 2012, more than 80 companies made investment commitments in the six African countries which had signed up. Today, nine African countries belong to the alliance, which says its target is to lift 50 million people out of poverty by 2022. This all sounds like good news for Africa, but some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have been critical. Read more .


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Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all. Nelson Mandela