Managing Mining: Transparency in the Shadows.An Anthropological Exploration into Global Policies and Governance in Sierra Leone
Abstract: The management of the mining sector in Sierra Leone is characterised by numerous integrations of government and donor agency policies, resembling that of global development agendas advocating for improvements of governance, transparency, capacity building and revenue generation. We must view the global policies in their local scales in order to substantiate their actual effects. The central argument is that in the frictions among the actors seeking influence on managing the mining sector, we can identify moves towards both enhanced transparency, as well as counter-moves that resemble the shadow affairs that historically has characterised the mining sector in Sierra Leone. Such processes underline the importance to locally appropriate policies to evaluate their effects and implications. The thesis takes point of departure in the signing of two mining license agreements that failed to live up to the expectations of a recently embarked process in Sierra Leone to improve on transparency and economic contribution. By studying the context in which these processes and events took place, it is an exploration into policy and governance in a developing country. It raises the point that global mining policy schemes are perhaps not yet completely grasping the problems of the mining sector that are external to the countries where mineral extraction takes place, failing to provide measures to counter illicit capital transfers and corruptive behaviour of the mining companies.
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