As South African’s, mining plays an important role in all of our lives. The Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa has published a fascinating article that discusses the exploitation and export of Africa’s mineral resources. Here is an introductory extract:
There are two economic realities on the African continent today. You will find the first one in World Bank, IMF and Africa Development Bank reports – and in articles across the globe about ‘Africa Rising’. This reality depicts Africa as a continent that is forging ahead – onwards and upwards. And some of the world’s best performing economies are indeed in Africa, such as Angola and Mozambique, which are growing at an extractive-powered rate of knots. Meanwhile, other southern African states are also surging ahead – with Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) growing at speeds not seen in a very long time.
The second reality depicts Africa as the world’s poorest continent, where the majority of people live with no access to clean water, decent health care, education and electricity, and struggle to survive in the face of high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality. This is the reality we see all around us when we travel through southern Africa.
Unsurprisingly, many people are asking how there can be two such conflicting realities.
Click through to the OSISA website to read the full article and educate yourself on mining related issues.