A five-day training workshop on the negotiation of mining contracts commenced on December 13 in Lilongwe, Malawi. Convened by the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF), in partnership with the International Senior Project Lawyers (ISLP) and the African Mining Development Centre (AMDC), the training is designed to equip government officials with the skills to negotiate mining agreements.
In a statement read on behalf of Bright Msaka, the Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Patrick Matanda, the Permanent Secretary for Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, stressed the importance of preparedness in contract negotiations and urged the participants to actively participate in the training sessions.
Matanda acknowledged the role that the mining sector can play in catalyzing economic development in Malawi. He said that the mineral extractive industry in Malawi is significantly developing and it is widely recognized that one major issues is capacity inadequacy in African countries, including Malawi, in negotiating mining development agreements.
Addressing the participants, Andrew Mwaba, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Resident Representative for Malawi, stated that the extractive sector can help drive Malawi’s economic transformation by providing much-needed resources for inclusive, sustainable and diversified development.
He added that the Bank is committed to working with African countries to address some of the challenges affecting the sector and is aimed at ensuring that African countries such as Malawi derive the maximum benefits from their natural resources.
Through the African Natural Resources Centre, we are providing technical assistance and policy advice to African countries on natural resources issues and the ALSF’s support is targeted towards assisting countries in the negotiation of extractives agreements and complex commercial transactions, Mwaba explained.
Facilitated by ISLP experts and Hogan Lovells US LLP, the training will cover a broad range of topics including, pre-contractual issues, drafting and negotiating key contractual clauses, fiscal aspects, community development agreements and dispute resolution. The seminar will conclude with a model negotiation session which is designed to equip the participants with some practical negotiation skills.
The ALSF is an international public institution, hosted by the African Development Bank Group. Its mandate is to support African states by providing legal advisory services for vulture fund litigation and negotiating complex commercial transactions.