De Beers has convened an ongoing series of “Diamond Dialogues” since 2007, drawing together industry, civil society and policy actors to discuss key sustainability issues relevant to mining, development and Africa. Dialogues have been held in Brussels, London, and Washington, with the London meetings moderated by Professor Alyson Warhurst. Here, the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre posts background information and the minutes of the dialogues.
Natural resources, investment and development in Africa
Event: A series of low key and roundtable lunch time discussions
Africa is home to rich natural resources - agricultural and extractives in the form of oil, gas, minerals and diamonds. For some countries, notably South Africa, Botswana and Namibia, this wealth has generated benefits that governments have invested over time in development. For others, notably those in west and central Africa, natural resource wealth has been associated with conflict, corruption and large scale expropriation of profits. The current commodity boom, energy security concerns, recent elections and the development of stronger policies to promote joint venture enterprises, economic empowerment, value-adding initiatives and social investment strategies, may be making a positive difference. But challenges remain. As investment from Chinese enterprises gathers pace and new players, particularly national natural resource companies, demand a greater slice of the action. Will investment in natural resources deliver development in Africa going forward and how should business balance risk, responsibility, reputation and returns?
Participants will hear brief viewpoints and then discuss various topics at successive meetings:
(Please see all minutes below)
The lunchtime series will build on the successful Davos breakfast roundtable that for the first time brought together De Beers and other African resource companies with heads of major NGOs for the purpose of straightforward frank debate on issues of mutual concern relating to natural resource production in Africa. The four topics above directly evolved from the Davos roundtable. Building on the outcome of those discussions, experts will be invited to set the scene on each topic, following which there will be a moderated discussion over lunch.
Dialogue 1: Transforming informal, artisanal mining in Africa [PDF], 22 Mar 2007
Dialogue 2: Business risk and responsibility in Africa [PDF], 21 Jun 2007
Dialogue 3: Chinese investment in natural resources in Africa [PDF], 20 Sep 2007
Dialogue 6: Improving the effectiveness of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and delivering sustainable and responsible development through cooperation between business and civil society [PDF], 16 Oct 2008
Dialogue 11: Kimberley Process Credibility, Zimbabwe and the Joint Work Plan [PDF], 28 Jun 2010
Dialogue 12: Zimbabwe and the Kimberley Process post-Jerusalem [PDF], 23 Nov 2010
Dialogue 13: Sustainable Water Use in a Changing Climate [PDF], 5 Dec 2011