Africa is inundated with natural resources, but the benefits of the continent’s resources do not always benefit the general African population. Parliamentarians are key in ensuring sound natural resource revenues, in monitoring the oversight of natural resources management and implementing effective legislation to protect national collective interests. On Friday 28 September 2012 African and European parliamentarians discussed the management of Africa’s natural resources towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “We need necessary instruments to secure the future in the long term” said Speaker Fini in opening this important seminar at the Palazzo Montecitorio (Italian Parliament). “Good intentions risk being dead if not attached to strong parliaments”.
Honorable Bethel Nnaemeka Amadi, President of the Pan African Parliament spoke of the job parliamentarians have ahead of them “to ensure that African leaders represent the people. That we need to ensure accountability. We need good governance on the continent for the people. The MDGs will not be met but I am hopeful that we can say to people that we came together to do what we could to ensure better living conditions for the African people.”
During the seminar various governance issues were discussed including the status and need to harmonize some of the existing agreements relating to the exploitation of natural resources, the most common challenges encountered as well as the possible solutions to address them. In particular the role of parliaments was debated leading on from the process begun in the aftermath of the High Level Summit on Aid Effectiveness, held in Busan in December 2011, which gave more room for parliament to be involved in the formulation of international development cooperation policies.
A Political Statement on the management of natural resources was adopted by delegations from the Pan-African Parliament, four Regional Parliaments in Africa and 16 Parliaments from around Europe along with former Members of Parliament, international experts, African diplomatic representatives, financial institutions, academics, NGOs and representatives of the private sector. In the statement a range of actions and policies were defined that the parliamentarians in Europe and Africa committed to, towards ensuring sound natural resource management to contribute to achieving the MDGs. “We need to understand the link between development and natural resources and the role parliamentarians have to play to ensure that the African people benefit from the wealth they are sitting on,” concluded Minister of State Ms. Smet, President of AWEPA.
With especial thanks to Speaker Fini and Honorable Enrico Pianetta, Chair of the Italian Parliamentary Sub-Committee on the MDGs and Head of the Italian AWEPA Section for offering their parliament this special event.
The seminar has been broadcasted live on the WebTV of the Chamber of Deputies: Web-tv website
Due to the large file size we cannot review the two presentations by prof. Anyanwu: ‘State of Affairs – Natural resources in Africa’ and ‘Potential Solutions & Current Initiatives towards Improved Natural Resource Managment in Africa’. If you are interested please contact our communications department: firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send the presentations directly to you.