According to the World Bank, Africa is home to approximately 30% of the world's mineral reserves, 10% of the world's oil, and 8% of the world's natural gas. Yet, whilst new and exciting resource discoveries promise to transform the socio- and economic well-being of many countries on the continent, the realisation of such is often frustrated by ill-suited legal and fiscal frameworks, uncertain national policies, lack of capacity and corruption.
The first fundamental aim of EILA is the delivery of graduates who have a comprehensive and holistic understanding of all relevant aspects of the extractive industries in Africa. The import of such professional development for future government officials, legal practitioners, policy-makers and industry specialists, is a critical factor to the successful development of natural resource in Africa in a sustainable manner.
A second fundamental aim of EILA is to conduct research and obtain insight with regard to legal and policy challenges concerning extractive industry law and regulation, natural resource policy and other related field or subject. The motivation behind this aim is twofold – firstly, in order to generate, promote and provide expertise concerning the field in question and, secondly, to enable the highest quality research-informed curricula in support of EILA’s teaching activities.
The future of Africa will markedly depend on its ability to manage its non-renewable natural resources in an effective, equitable and sustainable manner. Until recently, African universities have had very little capacity in this field, rendering the continent largely dependent on external know-how for the training of its future leaders. There was thus a patent need to develop advanced, interdisciplinary capacity on African soil - incorporating state of the art international approaches to natural resource governance and regulation, whilst linking it to the unique circumstances and needs of the continent in terms of educational and research outcomes.
EILA aims to foster exactly such capacity, by delivering qualified professionals who are contextually sensitized to the multi-faceted challenges faced by contemporary extractive sectors on the continent.
Adv Leon Gerber
Extractive Industry Law in Africa Unit