The Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies 2020 report has placed Botswana as the highest-ranking country in Africa on attractive mining policies in Africa. The survey indicated that no country in Africa is rated before Botswana when it comes to boosting exploration in investment as per the survey’s investment attractiveness index indicator.
According to the survey, Botswana is the highest-ranked jurisdiction in Africa on policy, ranking 15th (of 77) in 2020, and 22nd (out of 76) in 2019.
“Botswana’s increase in its PPI score (almost 8 points) reflects decreased concerns over labour regulations and employment agreements (-43 points), its taxation regime (-33 points), and the uncertainty concerning protected areas (-29 points),” the survey said while assessing Botswana.
Botswana is also the most attractive jurisdiction in Africa in terms of both policy and mineral potential, ranking 11th out of 77 countries globally for overall investment attractiveness. Three African countries–Zimbabwe (75th), Tanzania (72nd) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (70th)–ranked among the bottom 10 this year based on the policy aspect.
“Zimbabwe was also among the bottom 10 in the previous eight years. Based on their overall investment attractiveness two African jurisdictions were ranked in the global bottom 10: Tanzania (75th) and Zimbabwe (70th). The median score for Africa on the investment attractiveness index showed an increase of 9 points this year,” the survey underscored, proposing policy shifts in the countries.
Lucara Botswana Managing Director, Naseem Lahri said attributed Botswana’s political stability to it faring better than other countries, adding that it has stable mining policies as well. Lahri indicated that from the diamond perspective of a privately-owned company, Lucara has never struggled to extend the mining license for Karowe mine, thus demonstrating stable policies.
“In some mining jurisdictions, it is not easy for private mining companies like ours to have their licenses renewed, but here in Botswana, it is possible. Once our underground expansion feasibility was completed, our mining license was renewed. This shows accommodative policies,” she said in an interview.
Lahri said Lucara is committed to luring investors to Botswana, taking the advantage of the friendly mineral exploration policies. The company brought Botswana economic stakeholders together with one of the world’s best chamber of commerce – the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business to dialogue – in a virtual conference last year.
“We are keen to attract more investors from Canada and the rest of the world to Botswana. We anticipated holding the Canada Africa Chamber Business in Botswana live this year in April, but due to COVID-19, it didn’t materialise. We will do something before the end of this year and will invite the Prime Minister of Canada. Unfortunately, Canada is now back on lockdown,” said Lahri.
Through the survey, Canadian-based public policy think-tank, Fraser Institute assesses how the mineral endowments and public policy factors such as taxation and regulatory uncertainty affect exploration investment through the Investment Attractiveness Index and Policy Perception Index. The survey was circulated electronically to approximately 2,200 individuals between August 6th to November 6th, 2020 and responses were tallied to assess the countries based on the extent that public policy factors encourage or discourage mining investment across 77 surveyed jurisdictions.