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CSOs, Media drilled in curbing transnational corruption in green minerals

May 23, 2024 / Wahard Betha
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some CSO members and media practitioners who attended the training

A cross section of members of the Civil Society working in the extractive sector and the media now have the knowledge of how they can follow-up and help in curbing transnational corruption in green minerals thanks to the training workshop that was conducted by Perekezi ASM Consultants and Events in Lilongwe with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Perekezi organized the workshop in light of the increase in demand for the minerals which are important in the modern technological world.

The training came at an opportune time as Malawi has made a number of discoveries of green minerals including rare earths.

Under the Driving Just Resources Governance through open contracting and licensing project, Perekezi ASM Consultants and Events with funding from USAID is implementing the Powering a Just Energy Transition Minerals Challenge (JET Minerals change) project to promote transparency and accountability with the aim of curbing transnational corruption in green minerals.

Managing Partner for Perekezi Chikomeni Manda said though currently there is no corruption cases in Malawi as regards to green minerals they feel the high demand for the mineral can trigger corruption.

Manda said involvement of the CSO and media in the training is to ensure that they understand the significance of the green minerals and whenever the corruption case arises, they have to recognize it.  

He said: “We are looking at these green minerals because they are getting a lot of attention from the world technologies; defense and many other applications.”

“Since these minerals are in high demand, they can bring a lot of corruption in the system. We, therefore, conducted this training to civil society and the media to ensure that they know the significance of these minerals.”

Manda said corruption practices in extractives sector negatively impact the economy of any country as it retards development.

He said: “If these minerals are well managed with ample revenues generated, Malawi we can see a very big change in terms of development.”

“As Perekezi we understand that civil society and media’s oversight role on corruption issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, the study that Perekezi conducted has established that the country’s extractive sector is being challenged by delays in both licensing processing and finalization of Mining Development Agreements (MDAs).

“From the study that we conducted we have seen that licensing process is something that takes a very long time while right now we have MDAs among us which the government has been negotiating for quiet long and we do not see any hope that they will been finalized anytime soon.”

“These delays can be recipe for corruption because investors want to start working. And can think of going through a back door to influence authorities,” said Manda.

In his presentation, Technical Expert and Manager for Malawi Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (MWEITI) Leornard Mushane said there is more MWEITI is doing to support the anti-corruption drive which requires media support.

Mushane explained that the MWEITI secretariat requires support from the media in areas including dissemination of EITI reports whose main purpose is to disclose Information for all stakeholders to use.

He also disclosed that MWEITI has developed MWEITI Anti-Corruption Strategy as one way of fighting corruption practices in the extractives sector.

Mushane said the development of the strategy was prompted by the last corruption case that happened in the sector over license renewal for Ilomba Granite Mine in Mzimba district.

“MWEITI Anti-Corruption Strategy is the tool that we have developed through the support of the European Union sunder Chuma Cha Dziko project. The tool simply provides guidance on what to do to fight corruption in the mining sector,” he said.

The presenters at the workshop included Head of Mineral Rights Division, Mphatso Chikoti from the Department of Mines who was invited to tackle issues of Legal and Regulatory framework governing the extractives sector.

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