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A shaky foundation? Analysing Afghanistan’s draft mining law

in Afghan Business

A shaky foundation? Analysing Afghanistan’s draft mining law

deminingAfghanistan is endowed with minerals that could be worth a trillion dollars. Both the Afghan government and their international partners understandably hope these resources will fuel development and reduce dependence on foreign aid, and are working to encourage the growth of mining. But there is a grave risk that, as in many other conflict-affected states, the exploitation of natural riches will fuel insecurity and corruption – and in the end could do far more harm than good for the Afghan people, and the Afghan economy.If Afghanistan is to avoid this resource curse, an exceptionally strong legal and regulatory framework will be vital.

The foundation of that framework will be the Mining Law, a new version of which is currently being discussed in the Afghan parliament. Its impact will depend on how it is implemented, but the law will define most of the important mechanisms of mining governance in Afghanistan, and set the context for the rest.  Global Witness carried out an in-depth analysis of the law and highlighted four key areas where the law needs to be strengthened: on security, bidding processes, beneficial ownership, and the publication of contracts. But, the points presented here are also intended to be relevant to the overall structure of resource governance.

Global Witness is an international NGO established in 1993 that works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide.


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