What IANRA does...

  • We promote, together with communities, sustainable and equitable management of natural resources.

  • We develop and/or influence natural resources and environmental legislation and policy frameworks, on a national, regional and global level.

  • We enhance adherence to best practice Corporate Governance Standards (ethical and social responsibility).

  • We ensure tangible, long term, sustainable benefits for local communities.

  • We challenge the current political economy and conversion between state and private interests.


Africa is rich, who benefits?

It is estimated that Africa, with approximately 30 million square kilometers of land, has 600 million hectares of uncultivated arable land. Africa holds the world’s greatest known reserves of several minerals and has been a top producer of many of them. But Africa continues to suffer the resource curse, with most communities affected by mining worse off than before mining came into their areas. Across Africa, entire villages have been forcibly removed from their ancestral land in many cases with no replacement land. Members of communities on mineral-rich land, including traditional leaders, women, children and the elderly, have been arrested and imprisoned for protecting the only land they have which is often their only source of livelihood, and for exercising their right to protest. Rivers, land and crops have been contaminated from mining processes and communities have lost access to water sources. Pleas to mining companies and governments by communities often result in no tangible improvements in their lives.

These communities’ rights, as guaranteed in The African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, are often violated. The African Charter was adopted in Nairobi, Kenya on 27 June 1981 and entered into force on 21 October 1986. Rights enshrined in the Charter include the right to dignity, the right to health, the “unquestionable and unalienable” right to self-determination, the right to economic, social and cultural development, and the right of “all peoples” to freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources.

Governments themselves are burdened with the high costs of subsidising mining operations and mining profits. Governments lose revenue due to tax evasion, tax breaks, hiding of revenue by companies. Governments also have to utilize extensive state resources to provide health care for hundreds of thousands of mineworkers and affected mining community members, clean up polluted water and attempt to rehabilitate mined land. There are also the costs of police arresting and jailing protesting communities. The question remains whether mining revenue obtained by governments equals the subsidisation provided by governments.


The Pan-African Advocacy Project on Extractives

IANRA members and partners, including affected communities, began looking for solutions that could advance human and peoples’ rights of affected communities, as well as strengthen democratic, collective control of the people over their own resources.

Project Goal: Good governance in the minerals sector in Africa which ensures accountability and contributes to inclusive and sustainable growth and development, and protects human rights.

The PAA Project aims to realise the following results:

  • As a continental network, IANRA is working to develop a methodology for formulating policy from community to national to international levels;

  • Increased interactions and dialogue between civil society and communities on the one hand, and government and other stakeholders on the other;

  • Key policymakers on the continent will have strengthened their knowledge of the impacts of mining on communities and the environment;

  • The development of model legislation on mineral resources that would ensure the protection and promotion of human rights as in the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; and

  • Strengthening the knowledge and understanding of IANRA members, communities, and partners on policies at national and international levels related to natural resources.


PAA Project Activities to achieve these results include:

  • Case Studies in 5 Countries. Focus: The impact of extractive industries on communities in 5 countries: Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

  • Case Study Synthesis Report. Focus: Identification of key findings, similarities and differences in the case study findings.

  • Legal and Policy Analysis Report. Focus: Analysis of various legislation and policies related to mineral resources. This report will be one of the most comprehensive analyses on these subjects to date and will be available for use by civil society and other stakeholders.

  • Advocacy Guide. Focus: Tools and information to assist in advocacy for communities, civil society and other stakeholders.

  • Draft Model Legislation and Accompanying Policies. Focus: Laws and policies that will work to ensure the protection and promotion of human rights as contained in the African Charter.

  • Ongoing Consultation, Feedback and Input. Focus: Ensuring the model law is as comprehensive as possible, with input from a variety of civil society organisations, communities, and other stakeholders.


The first three-year phase of the Project (2013 to 2016) will focus on attaining the above results, with the next phase including extensive education, sharing, and advocacy focused on promoting the policy recommendations in the model legislation and accompanying policies.


The International Alliance on Natural Resources in Africa is a continental network of 51 non-governmental and community-based organisations, as well as national networks in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as the Netherlands. IANRA combines community organising, research, and evidence-based advocacy to collectively strive for more just and sustainable use of natural resources that can lead to more inclusive development in Africa.