Getting cocoa to market on Liberia’s treacherous roads is no joke. Like Liberia, many African countries hoping to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will require heavy investment in basic road infrastructure. In this episode of Talking Africa, we follow cocoa beans from harvest to coast.
Zimbabwe’s informal gold mines: violence, criminals and chaos
A surge of attacks linked to Zimbabwe's growing artisanal mining sector, has killed hundreds of miners.
As the country’s economy continues to weaken, especially following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of those of working age can be found in the artisanal mines, eking out a living, especially with the hopes of finding gold.
A police force set up to stop the violence is one thing, but many are now are calling on the government to look into reforms that will allow citizens to mine legally and stop the gangs controlling the work.
The International Crisis Group has just published a report called All That Glitters is Not Gold: Turmoil in Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector that delves into illicit mines of the country and particularly those toiling for gold and what the government should to ensure the mineral wealth stays in Zimbabwe while its miners are cared for.
In this week’s Talking Africa podcast, we speak to Piers Pigou, one of the authors of the report and a Senior Consultant on Southern Africa at the ICG.
He says most of the artisanal miners operate within syndicates. These are “small groups of miners between five and 10, maybe up to 20” that operate with a sponsor “who’s often a politically connected individual who will provide financing for that syndicate to operate in a particular area.”