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Accepted Paper:

Unmasking the green illusion: extractive mines, broken promises, and the perpetuation of socioeconomic inequalities in Guruve, Zimbabwe  
Neil Maheve (Rhodes University)

Paper short abstract:

I present a fresh nuanced understanding of the dynamics of extractive industries, particularly the Chinese mining firms in Zimbabwe. I bring the subaltern's mundane experiences to the workshop in the face of going green.

Paper long abstract:

My paper explores the complexities surrounding nickel and chrome mining in Guruve District, Zimbabwe, against heightened interest in disclosure, accountability, responsiveness, and governance within the extractive mining industry. Despite the formulation of standards and guidelines by governments and sector associations to promote human welfare, economic development, and service delivery, Zimbabwe faces challenges in realising these aspirations in the context of natural resource extraction. The study explores the contested, collusive, and complex nature of the nickel and chrome mining processes in Guruve. The study specifically focuses on the concerns raised by local communities regarding the environmental impacts of mining activities. The intricate relationships among the Chinese workforce at these mines, the local community, and political elites are examined. Despite extractive firms’ declarations of initiatives like corporate social responsibility (CSR), community share ownership trusts (CSOT), and partnerships with local authorities (LA), the study posits that these commitments largely remain unfulfilled. Grounded in post-development theory, the qualitative analysis challenges conventional notions of development, revealing deepening socio-economic inequalities in Guruve. Through interviews with community residents, mine workers, former employees, and mine managers, the study contends that the promised development benefits have not materialised, highlighting the discrepancy between promises and actual outcomes. Furthermore, the paper asserts that pursuing green energy through metal extraction has had adverse effects on producing communities, including environmental destruction, human injuries, and a lack of tangible development. This study underlines the nuanced implications of green energy endeavors on local socio-economic landscapes.

Panel P27
The extractive politics of Africa’s energy transition: A new dawn or more of the same?
  Session 1 Friday 28 June, 2024, -