Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Denis Tougas, "Canada in Africa: The mining superpower," Pambazuka News, November 20, 2008.

  ...the Investment Tax Credit for Exploration (ITCEE) allows a 15% deduction for each of 3 years to buyers of ‘accredited’ shares issued by exploration companies with the backing of the government.

The time when Canada's presence on the African continent was primarily characterised by numerous missionaries and food donations is well and truly over! In countries such as Congo, Mali and Tanzania, when it is learned that you are from Canada, you are immediately asked if you work for the ‘mining’, a perception entirely consistent with reality. Canada is now a superpower in the African mining sector, a position the country intends to maintain and develop using all means at its disposal.

The salient presence of Canadian mining is relatively new in Africa and is rooted principally in the programmes of liberalisation of the sector from the early 1990s. These programmes have been driven by the World Bank, which from 1992(1) had begun defining the extractive sector as the main engine of development for many countries.(2) The privatisation of state enterprise – promoted as a means of encouraging the entry of foreign investment – has opened the door to foreign companies. At the head of this development, especially with regard to the smaller exploration companies known as ‘juniors’, are Canadian companies. These companies have an immense commercial presence in Canada: of the 1,223 mining companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the largest in the country, more than 1,000 are juniors!(3)

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