Canadian mining activities in Africa a force for good

Monday March 22 2010

We refer to the article, Canadian Firms Dominate Mining Activities in Africa, (March 1-7) which paints a misleading picture of Canadian mining activities in Africa.

We feel that the article drew some erroneous conclusions based on false or partial information.

We would like to make it clear that Canada’s commercial priority is to attract investors into the country through a number of fiscal measures.

There is, however, no specific policy that encourages Canadian mining companies to invest abroad as the article insinuated.

Further, the Canadian government supports transparency and welcomes independent investigations of mining companies’ activities.

As a country founded on the strength of its natural resources, we are proud to see Canadian expertise, technology and investment dollars at work in communities around the world.

Should Canadian companies decide to invest abroad, the government encourages them to work in a positive manner that will help all stakeholders prosper from the projects.

In Africa, you can find many examples of Canada’s extractive sector playing a positive role: They are creating employment for local people, sharing and transferring Canadian expertise, respecting local law and regulations and helping communities develop natural resources in their own backyards.

New strategies

Earlier this year, we announced a new strategy that will help Canadian companies abroad go even further to meet and exceed their corporate social responsibility goals.

The Canadian government also strongly supports the International Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

Our government will continue to support efforts of Canadian companies to make a positive difference in the communities in which they operate and encourage all governments to be transparent in their management of the extractive sector.

Ross Hynes,
High Commissioner of Canada
Nairobi, Kenya

Roert Orr
High Commissioner of Canada,
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania