Accepted paper:

CSO engagement in the Zambia's post-privatisation mining sector: challenges and possibilities


Aubrey Chiwati (National Assembly of Zambia)
Simon Manda (University of Leeds)

Paper short abstract:

This paper highlights how the role of CSOs evolved in the post-privatisation Zambia. The paper asks what sort of issues CSOs focus on in Zambia and what strategies they deploy in engaging the extractive industry.

Paper long abstract:

Privatisation of mining in Zambia in the mid-1990s brought forth prospective optimism of improved resource governance but further raised questions for the role of civil society organisations (CSOs). The centrality of the evolution of resource governance norms point to the need to counter negative potential socio-economic and institutional impacts of extractive industries. A vast amount of research in the post-privatisation Zambia has focused on institutional frameworks, social and environmental dynamics in the context of mining expansion. CSOs analyses have emerged under wider processes and engagement in Extractive Industry Transparency Initiatives (EITI) or discussed in relation to labour movements. Poorly understood is how resource governance dynamics have shaped CSO engagement in the extractives and implications for socio-economic, environmental and institutional transformation. Preliminary evidence reveals that CSO engagement in Zambia's large-scale mining is peripheral and characterised by unclear positions between support towards stronger sector regulation and otherwise. However, loose networks have begun to emerge and coalesce around small to medium scale mining operations. This focus by CSOs can be interpreted both as an effect and consequence of neoliberal expansion and tightened industry grip by dominant state-donor-mining relations. However, fragmented CSO and stakeholder networks in resource governance waste an opportunity for meaningful resource governance transformation. By identifying how CSOs engage and shape resource governance alongside new expansion frontiers in Zambia, we hope for more progressive, proactive and timely interventions by state and non-state actors in a move to produce greater benefits across socio-economic and institutional platforms in Zambia.

panel I6
Opening up natural resource governance: the roles of non-state and non-traditional actors [paper]