Burkina Faso: Artisanal Gold Mining in the Context of Violent Insecurity
Since 2015, the deterioration of security and the increase in armed violence have caused hundreds of victims and mass internal displacement in Burkina Faso (as well as in other Sahelian countries).
Numerous violent episodes have occurred in mining areas: in June 2021, for example, the most tragic attack so far has struck the northern town of Solhan and the neighboring gold mining site. The flourishing informal economy of small-scale gold mining has often been accused of providing financial support to criminal and terrorist activities, and of offering opportunities for recruitment in violent groups.
In relation to the publication of a NAI Policy Note on these issues, this Virtual Policy Dialogue aims to discuss the links between artisanal mining and mounting insecurity in Burkina Faso. Our ambition is to reflect on the complexity of the current situation, in light of the processes of liberalization of the mining sector, privatization of security, and political and economic change that have characterized the two last decades.
In the policy agenda, longer-term plans to formalize and regulate mining activities have intertwined with the more urgent need to de-escalate tensions and restore the presence of the state in rural areas. It is therefore important to reflect on the future of artisanal gold mining, its – still relatively under-researched – relation with jihadist and non-state violence, its contribution to rural livelihoods and on the role of the state in generating and tackling the current situation.
- Welcoming remarks, Dr. Therése Sjömander Magnusson, Director, The Nordic Africa Institute
- Short presentation by the authors of the Policy Note, Dr. Cristiano Lanzano, Senior Researcher, The Nordic Africa Institute, Dr. Sabine Luning, Associate Professor, Leiden University and Dr. Alizèta Ouédraogo, National Coordinator at the Artisanal Gold Council , and former Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Research in Africa
- Panel discussion with participants
- Projection of the short film “Gold Matters in Burkina Faso: The Art of Bonding in Precarious Times”
Moderator: Dr. Cristiano Lanzano, Senior Researcher, The Nordic Africa Institute