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April 22, 2008 Weblog:

Make Mining Codes History? Oxfam America in West Africa


According to Oxfam America's website, "Oxfam America and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed on April 4, 2008 to collaborate on creating a common mining code for all of West Africa."

The agreement, according to Oxfam, "...will help the 15 member countries adhere to uniform standards created jointly by governments and citizens, and increase protection of human rights and the environment while promoting investment."

ECOWAS, according to their homepage, has a "mission to promote economic integration in 'all fields of economic activity, particularly industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial questions, social and cultural matters'..."

Voice of America notes that "Oxfam and ECOWAS recently led meetings with affected community members from 11 West African countries."

Oxfam America, according to the information on their website, has taken on the role of "[overseeing] the participation of civil society representatives" in the drafting of a new mining law.

What makes Oxfam (ahem, Oxfam America) qualified to "oversee" mining affected communities and civil society groups in West Africa in meetings about mining law reform has not been addressed in media reports to date.

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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