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Africa Files

November 24th, 2008

African Charter Article# 21: All peoples shall freely dispose of their wealth and natural resources for their exclusive interest, eliminating all forms of foreign economic exploitation.

Summary & Comment: Here are five articles on Canadian mining companies active in Africa, published in English and in French by AfricaFiles in collaboration with Pambazuka News � with URLs and summary/comment for easy access. Find case studies from the D R Congo, Ghana, and Tanzania, as well as a report on Canadian civil society efforts to get regulations passed by the Canadian government to make mining company activities more favourable to African peoples� interests. DN

Special issue on Canadian role in mining in Canada

Canada�s engagement with Africa is frequently seen as �progressive� or perhaps anodyne. But the reality is murkier. Published jointly by Pambazuka News and AfricaFiles, this special issue features:
- an overview on why Canada became a super power in mining investments,
- why Canadian Stock Exchanges are a global centre for risky investments,
- the extent of Canadian involvement, and
- an examination of a new, adapted diplomacy for new situations.

The issue includes case studies from the DR Congo, Ghana, Tanzania, as well as a report on Canadian civil society efforts to get regulations passed by the government to make company activities more favourable to African peoples� interests.

This issue has been published in both the English and French editions of Pambazuka News.

Five articles on Canadian mining companies in Africa published jointly in English and in French by AfricaFiles and Pambazuka News
� with URLs and summary/comment for easy access.

1. Le Canada en Afrique : � la super puissance mini�re! � by Denis Tougas
Canada in Africa: The mining superpower


Summary/ comment:

En 2001, les entreprises canadiennes menaient des op�rations dans 24 pays africains alors qu�en 2007 c�est dans 35 pays. Et 92% des investissements canadiens �taient concentr�s dans 8 pays. Par ordre d�importance : Afrique du Sud (25%), RD Congo (17%), Madagascar (13%), Zambie (10%), Tanzanie (9%), Ghana (6,5%), Burkina Faso (4,7%) et Mauritanie (3%).

In 2001, Canadian companies had operations in 24 African countries, a figure that had risen to 35 by 2007. And 91% of Canadian investments were concentrated in eight countries, with the order of countries� importance being the following: South Africa (25.6%), D R Congo (17.8%), Madagascar (13.8%), Zambia (9.9%), Tanzania (9.5%), Ghana (6.5%), Burkina Faso (4.7%), and Mauritania (3%). It remains to be seen whether Chinese investment projects in the region will threaten Canada�s position of overall dominance. DN

2.Mining and colonial practices in Tanzania - The return of Victorian era

Compagnies mini�res multinationals - Retour � l��re coloniale victorienne
en Tanzanie

by Evans Rubara


Evans Rubara documents the extent to which mining companies operate with impunity in Tanzania, an impunity giving rise to sustained abuse of local people�s rights and wholesale stealing of national resources.

Dans cette analyse des conditions d�exploitation des ressources mini�res en Tanzanie, Evans Rubara �voque les cha�nes de complicit�, mais aussi les faiblesses des textes que le multinationales contournent pour piller les ressources nationales dans des conditions qui appauvrissent les populations des zones mini�res et ruinent l�environnement. DN

3. Empreintes et paradoxes des exploitants miniers canadiens en RDC by
Mikhael Missakabo

Footprints and paradoxes of Canadian mining in the Democratic Republic
of Congo


Lorsque les conditions de vie des Congolais se d�t�riorent, le secteur minier continue de fournir environ 70% du budget national. Soulignant que ces conditions en R D Congo n�auraient jamais �t� tol�rables au Canada m�me, Mikhael Missakabo se demande quel est l�avenir d�un continent exploit� syst�matiquement par des int�r�ts motiv�s par un seul soucis : le profit.

Mikhael Missakabo reveals the extent to which Canadian mining companies are benefiting from instability and weak institutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo to reap huge profits while paying much attention to profit and little attention to the ecological and human cost of their actions. DN

4. When silence is golden

Quand le silence est d�or

by Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque


While Canada�s anti-poverty agenda cancelled some CAD$18 million of Ghana�s debt in 2004, Alexandra Sicotte-L�vesque highlights the core contradictions of a Western nation that is conversely unwilling to accept any extra-territorial responsibilities in conflict with the needs of its own domestic economy.

Dans un pays que les pays occidentaux et les bailleurs de fonds multilat�raux soutiennent pour sa stabilit� et son syst�me d�mocratique, l�exploitation de l�or est en train de briser les �quilibres communautaires. L�exploitation de l�or au Ghana par les multinationales canadiennes s�av�re un scandale financier, environnemental, et politique. DN

5. Mandatory, not voluntary: Holding Canadian companies accountable by
Ian Thomson
Obligatoire, pas volontaire : Engager la responsabilit� des entreprises
canadiennes commence au Canada


Highlighting the slow progress around the implementation of greater Corporate and Social Responsibility by the Canadian government and Canadian mining companies, Ian Thomson describes the efforts of diverse groups of civil society organisations to hold mining companies to account for their actions in African countries.

Dans cet article qui souligne les lenteurs du gouvernement canadien et ses entreprises � r�pondre aux appels pour le respect de l��cologie et des droits humains dans les industries mini�res, Ian Thomson d�crit les efforts de divers groupes de la soci�t� civile pour attirer l�attention sur les actions des compagnies mini�res canadiennes en Afrique. DN 


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