The Alternative Mining Indaba
The Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) is a global platform that brings all stakeholders together annually for a conference that debates, discusses various issues as well as serves as an empowerment tool through training of communities. The AMI convenes an annual conference in Cape Town every February, which is a culmination of decentralised national processes that take place in more than 12 African countries. While initially focused predominantly in Southern Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in the East have also joined, with country-specific conferences and workshops within communities where extraction of mineral resources occurs. The processes are convened as Village-level Alternative Mining Indabas (VAMIs) or Local-level AMIs (LAMIs), District-level AMIs (DAMIs), Provincial AMIs (PAMIs) and National AMIs (NAMIs). Thus the overall AMI experience or umbrella annually reaches or is accessed by about 6000 participants directly and cascades to a further 8000 through advocacy and campaign activities. The timing of these processes is to coincide and counter industry-related conferences and seminars and narratives while allowing communities to interact with government and mining company officials in the countries where mining takes place.
To date the platform has successfully grown into a space for honest engagement with policy makers including in African Union (AU) structures, SADC and soon East African Community (EAC), as well as National Governments, in relation to the importance of harmonisation of policy in the regions. The platform emphasises critical, joint and comprehensive monitoring by extractives industries, host countries, and most importantly host communities with the support of civil society organisations to safeguard preservation and care of creation for future generations.