Accepted Paper:

Natural resource extraction, CSR and human rights in West Africa  
Henrik Nielsen (Danish Inst for Human Rights)

Paper long abstract:

This article focuses on two sectors in two countries, the oil extraction industry in Niger and the gold extraction in Mali, and how foreign extraction companies interact with local communities. It seeks to uncover what "corporate social responsibility" means to different social groups in two cases. The oil extraction industry in Niger is taking place in an extremely remote part of the country, in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The challenge of integrating local communities is therefore of a particular kind, as it will mainly be nomadic, often rebellious groups, who will claim autochtony, and therefore a share in whatever spoils that may be available.

In Mali, foreign companies operate alongside local artisan exploiters, and have a more pronounced role to play in local communities, who equally fight for their rights to get their share , and are concerned with their environment. Again contracts with political elites are outlined in a not entirely transparent manner. Here, demands that companies should take up roles of the state, providing services etc. are being voiced by local populations as well as by civil society groups, campaigning with varying degrees of local constituency, proposing themselves as mediators.

Panel W125
Imagined resources and governance of community