In recent years, resource-rich developing countries have increasingly adopted Local Content Policies (LCPs) as a means of stimulating locally-driven, resource-based development. Such policies, which seek to catalyse development through the procurement of local goods and services in regions where mining and oil and gas production takes place, are now prevalent in some 49 countries around the world. Yet, in many cases they have been implemented with disappointing results. This article explores mining sector reforms that prioritise local content, and questions their effectiveness in the provision of inclusive resource-based development. Drawing upon the case of Guinea’s bauxite sector, where LCPs have been prioritised as the centrepiece of recent mining sector reforms, the paper critically explores the country’s current LCP trajectory, in the process examining both opportunities and obstacles to be surmounted. Given decades of state withdrawal under the years of structural adjustment and Guinea’s ensuing neo-liberal trajectory, we explore how mining companies and the government are currently responding to their changing roles in terms of LCP implementation. The article concludes by locating the lessons from Guinea within wider discussions that concern LCPs and mining sector reforms, in the process offering reflection on possible ways forward for minimising resource enclavity and fostering more inclusive forms of local economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
- Local content policies (LCPs)
- Mining Sector Reforms