How good is Southern Africa extractives data? 

The Mineral Governance Barometer from Southern Africa Resource Watch contains this observation in its introduction.

Despite increasing attention to mineral governance, our ability to compare the records of Southern African countries systematically has remained limited. Some studies offer sweeping analyses of the adverse consequences of failed resource governance throughout Africa (Bond 2006; Burgis 2015; Kabemba 2013). Others provide qualitative detail on specific aspects of mineral governance or in specific countries – for example on international efforts to promote diamond certification (Grant and Taylor 2004) and on the impact of uranium mining on local livelihoods in Malawi (Kamlongera 2013). The World Bank (2016b) recently initiated a project to collect detailed information about mineral governance, though its current coverage is limited, and it emphasises single-country diagnostics. Important cross-national data sources, such as those compiled by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (2010) and Revenue Watch Institute (2013) are concerned primarily with revenue transparency, and their coverage of Southern Africa is patchy. Meanwhile, extensive quantitative research on the “natural resource curse” primarily compares developmental outcomes in resource-rich versus resource-poor countries, rather than analysing differences in resource governance among resource-rich countries (Alence 2015). This all points to a gap in the understanding of mineral governance in Southern Africa. The urgency of Southern Africa Resource Watch’s call for “instruments that will allow for an easy and correct assessment of the manner in which resources are being managed in the region” (2013: 7) is difficult to dispute.