Illicit Financial Flows and Conflict in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger
Artisanal and small-scale mining is an essential component of West African economies. Millions of people within the region depend on it, either directly or indirectly, for their livelihoods, and it is responsible for a significant proportion of the region's mineral and metal production. When effectively governed and supported, the sector offers an excellent opportunity to advance national and regional sustainable development goals, including through the mobilization of national revenues and the creation of employment for the most vulnerable.
The 2012 discovery of a rich vein of gold stretching across the Sahel region from east to west and the subsequent gold rush coincided with a rise in religious extremism, conflict, and crime in the region, particularly in the three countries: Niger, Burkina Faso, and Mali.
Illegal activities, including armed violence, terrorism, and organized crime, have exacerbated governance problems in parts of the three countries; large areas at the confluence of the three borders are now beyond the control of governments and are expanding. There is an urgent need to support government efforts to restore stability, protect their citizens and the environment, formalize mining operations, reduce corruption, and increase tax revenues from the sector.
This report presents an analysis of the context of artisanal mining in border areas currently plagued by violence and conflict. The analysis focuses on three key areas:
- The current regional and national governance frameworks for artisanal and small-scale gold mining
- Illicit financial flows associated with the sector
- The links between conflict, crime, and artisanal gold mining
Finally, the report offers recommendations to the governments of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger on how they can strengthen their response to the threat of illicit financial flows, conflict, and crime associated with artisanal and small-scale gold mining.
You might also be interested in
National Workshop on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining, Illicit Financial Flows, and Conflict in Niger
The IGF organized a workshop for officials in Niger to promote dialogue on ASM governance challenges related to illicit financial flows and conflict.
Impact of New Mining Technologies on Large-Scale and Artisanal Mining in Burkina Faso
This IGF New Tech New Deal case study of Burkina Faso examines labour and other impacts of new mining technology in large-scale and artisanal mining.
Managing Local Community Development Related to the Mining Industry: A workshop for WAEMU member states
From July 1 to 5, 2019, IGF held a workshop in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on the management of community development related to the mining industry.
IGF Case Study: The Importance of Consultation and Engagement in Environmental and Social Impact Assessments
Highlighting good legal frameworks that cover a mine's life cycle and presenting illustrative cases from Canada and Peru.