Bamako: Dissemination of the African Development Report 2007

10/04/2008
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Bamako: Dissemination of the African Development Report 2007

The African Development Bank organized a seminar on Tuesday 8 April 2008 in Bamako, Mali, where key stakeholders discussed the findings of the African Development Report 2007, on Natural Resources for Sustainable Development in Africa.

The workshop brought together key stakeholders from relevant development organizations, civil society and ministries. Several journalists were also present.

There was a pledge from all stakeholders to continue the good dialogue on the implementation of recommendations of the report in the context of improved natural resource management in Mali.

The AfDB Group’s Resident Representative in Mali, Moulay Lahcen Ennahli, said that the AfDB Country Office will follow up on the fruitful discussions with the government and other development partners in Mali.

This is a continuation of the dissemination of the ADR 2007 in RMCs and a similar seminar is planned for Thursday 10 April in Dakar, Senegal.

The report clearly demonstrated that actual fiscal tax regimes or the government take for fossil fuels and minerals in Africa are by no means uniform. A multitude of royalties, taxes, resource rents, incentives, state equity levels, and so on, have been developed to foster interest in exploration and investments, on the one hand, and capture some of benefits for the state and the public, on the other hand. The levels and principles applied are as heterogeneous as the landscape and people in Africa. This can partly be explained by the different timing (in start of resource exploitation) and the different character of the resources (what the resource is, geology, geography, risk assessment related to conflicts and political status etc.), but certainly requires much further investigation and scrutinization.

"No current literature convincingly has captured (by actual empirical evidence) exactly what level of taxation African governments (the government take) are in fact able to achieve. A challenge is that the vast majority of contracts between governments and the extractive industry are not available for public scrutinization. At present, evidence is mainly "anecdotal" in nature, in the sense that it is based on statements by government officials or others1, but not based on statistical data or other verifiable documentation," said Ms. Audrey Chouchane-Verdier, from the AfDB Research Department.

The African Development Report is therefore recommending that a study be commissioned to further investigate the issue of rents from extractive industries in Africa, specifically with the aim to document and analyze (to the extent possible) actual rent amounts African countries are receiving (the government take), and how these compare to other countries in the world.