Regional Conference to Combat Resource Looting in the SADC Region

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Centre for Natural Resource Governance (CNRG), Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW) and SAPES Trust will jointly host a regional conference to combat resource looting in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region on 23 May, 2019 at SAPES Trust, Harare.

The Resource Curse or the Paradox of Plenty is the contradiction of resource abundance juxtaposed against extreme poverty and often caused by bad governance as ruling elites uses political power to amass wealth through corruption and use the corruptly acquired wealth to retain power. Often, government attention is diverted from other critical sectors of the economy and focus is put on looting and enabling looting by proxies.

In most resource endowed SADC countries, with the exception of a few, natural resource abundance has not translated into wealth for the country. Rent seeking behavior by politicians, bad contract negotiation skills, absence of functioning regulatory institutions, tax evasion, poor labor practices, money laundering and organized crime have all been reported in the SADC region. There is a growing concern among citizens in SADC that natural resource looting has reached alarming levels and that governments and citizens must confront the scourge together and urgently.

The conference brings together distinguished speakers and researchers from seven countries in SADC – Angola, Botswana, DRC, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe – who will unpack the political economy of resource looting and proffer possible solutions on what SADC can do to ensure natural resource abundance is a blessing and not a curse. In addition to the speakers there will be an equally well informed audience comprising of those who have spent considerable time working on the extractive sector.

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