The 2nd Vice-President of Zanzibar Hon. Amb. Seif Ali Iddi launched a two-day regional roundtable on ‘Extractives for Human Development: Maximizing Domestic Participation along the Value Chain,” organized by UONGOZI Institute in collaboration with the Ministry of Land, Water, Energy and Environment of Zanzibar.

The round-table which took place on 27th and 28thOctober at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Zanzibar had the primary goal of reflecting on how to optimize benefits from domestic participation in the extractives sector in Africa. It also aimed at providing a platform where stakeholders in the sector discussed how the continent can increase the participation of locals in the value chain.

The round-table gathered stakeholders from the African region and a few experts in the area of local content from other parts of the world. Participants also included senior representatives from the public and private sector, academia and civil society from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Sierra Leone, UK and Ghana.

Opening the round-table Amb. Idd said, “As you know the extractive sector adds value to human lives but also in many ways it causes problems both politically, economically, socially and environmentally. Many countries particularly from the developing world the natural resources are more of a curse than blessing.  This has been in many ways due to having policies, laws, regulations, and strategies that do not maximize domestic participation along the value chain. As a result, many people tend to feel left out.”

However, the 2nd Vice-President also noted that there is no easy solution to the challenge of enhancing domestic participation in the value chain.

“I believe knowledge sharing through dialogue with government representatives, industry associations, supplier organizations, civil society organizations, development partners, and other relevant institutions is critical to success,” he stated.

2nd Vice-President Iddi also said that it is important to understand the trade-offs and pitfalls that the development of local content policies may entail; indicating that their success largely depends on engagement and collaboration among stakeholders, and involves cross-sectoral, national, regional, and local considerations; and that it requires industry-wide collaboration and multi-stakeholders involvement.

Adding, “I therefore trust that this forum will make a major contribution to broadening the understanding of these issues and bring together the stakeholders who must be part of this collaborative effort.”