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Wageningen University (2021)

The governance of Zimbabwe’s Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector : an actor-oriented approach

Ncube, Matthew

Titre : The governance of Zimbabwe’s Artisanal and Small-scale Gold Mining (ASGM) sector : an actor-oriented approach

Auteur : Ncube, Matthew

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) International Development Studies 2021

Résumé
In Zimbabwe, the artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) sector remains the most important source of employment and foreign currency flows due to an economic crisis that has driven many people to the margins. This means that artisanal and small-scale miners play a crucial role in the country’s economy. However, the ASGM sector remains largely informal or at least semi-formalised making it an interesting study topic from the perspective of governance. This study explores how this sector is governed at the local level using the frameworks of street-level bureaucracy and negotiated governance. These frameworks are complemented by Helmke and Levitsky (2004)’s typology of interactional relationships between formal and informal institutions. The study is based on 32 interviews conducted with participants comprising miners, local regulatory authorities, and NGOs/mining experts in Gwanda and Matobo districts in the Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe. The study finds that the major challenge with mining policies in Zimbabwe is that they remain ambiguous and ill-adapted to the realities and dynamics of the ASGM sector. There is also poor coordination and sometimes duplication of roles among the various mining regulatory departments. Together, the ambiguous mining policies and poor coordination among the regulatory authorities has resulted in quasi-formalisation strategies at the local level. These arrangements are mediated by negotiations between the miners and local regulatory authorities on the one hand, and among the state departments as they compete to govern the ASGM sector, on the other hand. The formal governance of the ASGM sector is hindered by the prevalent political culture of clientelism, widespread corruption and bribes which seem to form a stronger regulatory system than formal rules. In this context, it is argued that street-level bureaucrats do not have “substantial” discretion as often assumed. Rather, they have limited discretion due to top-down policy pressures and the strong interests of political elites who covertly control the ASGM sector.

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Page publiée le 14 décembre 2021