CBA’s SIRD project engages stakeholders in the extractive industries

  • May 11, 2018


By Katya Hodge

“Women and girls are facing challenges in extractive industries. We need to have policies and create a better environment that can enable them to benefit in the sector.” These words, from Anita Kundy of the Canadian High Commission in Tanzania, set the stage for CBA’s three-day forum, titled Gender and the Extractive Industries, April 24-26 in Dar es Salaam.

The forum, hosted by the Tanganyika Law Society, is the second of three national forums being held in the East African region as part of CBA’s International Initiative Supporting Inclusive Resource Development in East Africa Project. More than 50 stakeholders from local communities, government ministries, local councils, the CBA, academia and the extractive industry came together to explore issues of transparency, gender sensitivity and accountability, especially as they pertain to women and girls affected by big oil, gas, and mineral projects in Tanzania.

Sessions specifically covered women’s engagement and inclusion in the extractive industry; environmental protection; conflict resolution; land acquisition, resettlement and compensation; and revenue sharing. Four CBA volunteers – Jessica Lott Thompson, Rick Lane, Janet Bobechko and Amyn Lalji – joined the forum as technical experts, sharing their Canadian experience in extractive sector regulation, aboriginal law, human rights, gender equality, environmental protection and corporate social responsibility.

Breakaway sessions offered an interactive opportunity for delegates to identify challenges, opportunities and recommendations based on presentation highlights. Despite divergent views and strong feelings, delegates of all sides worked together to determine potential next steps and establish a clear path forward on the issue of gender and the extractive industries.

What’s next for SIRD? Each law society will develop an action plan detailing how they will address the issues that have come out of the forums, moving the project toward its ultimate objective of increasing sustainable economic growth for East Africans, in particular women and vulnerable groups, affected by the extractive industries.

SIRD is a five-year project, funded by Global Affairs Canada and implemented by CBA’s International Initiatives team in partnership with law societies in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Over the next few years, the team will draw on the experience and expertise of CBA members to support professional skills training and capacity building for the legal profession, civil society and community advocates in East Africa. To learn more about volunteering for SIRD project activities, please visit the website.

Katya Hodge is the CBA’s Manager of Media Relations.