Over the last few decades, African governments have removed restrictions on and privatised their mining industries, attracting significant foreign direct investment. As a result, the continent’s mining industry has become dominated by transnational corporations such as Glencore, AngloAmerican and Barrick Gold.
Alongside these corporate giants, operating largely beyond the formal reach and control of African governments sits the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. This is defined by the OECD as mining operations with predominantly simplified forms of exploration, extraction, processing, and transportation.
Roughly one quarter of the global gold, tin and tantalum supply is produced by artisanal and small-scale miners. In 2019, there were an estimated 10 million people working in the sector across sub-Saharan Africa.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.