Briefing from ROAPE Volume 35 Number 115
‘State, Mining & Development in Africa’ Conference Report
The ROAPE-sponsored conference on ‘State, Mining and Development in Africa’ which was held from 13-14 September 2007 at the University of Leeds brought together more than 100 activists and academics from Africa, Europe and North America to explore three key themes: what lessons have been learnt from the ‘resource curse’ days of the 70s, 80s and 90s; what opportunities for resource-led growth have emerged in the 21st century; and what resistance exists within the continent to the continuing politics of dispossession and primitive accumulation that has characterised much resource extraction? One third of the conference residents over the two days were from overseas and 20% from Africa. The significant Africa representation was secured by a British Academy grant as well as collaboration with Third World Network - Africa (TWN) based in Accra, Ghana, which helped facilitate a grant from Oxfam-Novib to bring African based academics and activists to Leeds. Third World Network - Africa (TWN) Objectives Research and Advocacy on issues of social and economic policy that advances the needs and interests of peoples of African and other third world countries (especially mar-ginalized social groups), a fair distribution of world's resources, and forms of development which are sustainable and fulfil human needs.&break; Achievements: Gained recognition in Africa among civil society groups, and governmental and inter-governmental institutions as bringing an additional angle to analyses of Africa's development needs, and advocacy for improvement of conditions of its people; Firmly established as critical link among African advocacy groups in areas of trade and investment, mining and issues of gender equity, through establishment and co-ordination continent wide policy networks; Strong intermediating role and mutually reinforcing linkage, at levels of both substance and process, between diverse organisations and actors: including, on the one hand, including community based organisations, advocacy organisations around the world; and on the other hand, official policy institutions, research organisations, and international institutions.