Benefit sharing in the mining sector in Africa
In essence, the notion of benefit sharing is recognition of the natural rights of affected communities over mineral resources in their traditional and historical homelands. Communities have a right to benefit first—culturally, economically and politically. These rights can be seen from the prism of both immediate as well as long-term benefits. Sharing of benefits accruing from the exploitation of the mineral wealth of a region with the affected communities not only improves their social and economic status, but also helps in the development of local infrastructure, mobility, health facilities, etc. around mining areas, thus reducing long-term conflicts. Benefit sharing is particularly relevant to the mining sector because these resources are depleted over time and may not be available to future generations.