The Tripartite Network theory in the gold mining industry: a lesson for Africa

Gold mining no longer belongs to a single authority. Conceptually, there are basically three stakeholders namely the community (citizens), the Company (Investor) and the government.

These three stakeholders shall have proper attention while drafting policy in relation with extractive industries in general and gold mining in particular. The relationship could be identified as “tripartite” network.

The concept of “tripartite” networking has been referred in one way or the other in diverse study papers. Of course, the word “tripartite” can be differently termed. However, it is believed that the network of the community, the government and the private sector is vital and indispensable. Africa’s Mining Regimes Framework Report of 2009 called this kind of networking as “Tri-Sector Partnerships” and enumerates who the partners should be. These are,

  • The company engaged in developing or planning to develop a resource;
  • Civil society organisations such as community groups, NGOs, churches, etc; and
  • Local and central government institutions. (AU and UNECA , 2009, p. 127)

Another study on Mining and Development conducted by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation as well as a recently published book named as “Gold Mining in Ethiopia: Tripartite Interest and Contest” mentioned the network as a “three-way process” that should include the same stakeholders that we have mentioned above in an effort to secure a win-win solution.

As a consequence of the paradigm shifts that the gold mining industry has suffered during the quarter century, the structure of mining policies are progressively becoming a three-sided connection involving the above stated stakeholders. Getting these three-sided connections through dialogues demands careful preliminary works in order to ensure that the tripartite parties are able to contribute and gain full advantages from the process that they are about to commence.

These types of dialogues should be optimistic and should create a win-win solution for these stakeholders i.e. the government, the community (citizens), and the company (investors) – all of whom appear to enjoy significantly from the resources and achieve sustainable development of the mining areas.

Regardless of this fact, some countries in the developing world specifically in Africa do not have this type of three-sided foundational networks in their legal and policy frameworks in an effort to secure a predictable investment environment to all stakeholders.

However, African mining regimes, in whatever way, demanded to observe the role of the “tripartite” networking of the three sectors that are believed to be important in these days.

Source: Further Africa