Members of local communities whose interests intersect with mining because they reside on resource-rich lands are often placed at a disadvantage in decision-making processes. “But if mining is going to proceed sustainably in Africa, it really cannot be done without the voices and concerns of local communities, regardless of how challenging that process can be to orchestrate,” says Dr. Ghebremusse.
Previous research by Dr. Ghebremusse focused on the issue of transparency in mining; particularly Canadian mining company payments to governments, and other elements of governance and regulation. Now Ghebremusse is investigating social sustainability issues, such as human rights violations arising from mining activities (e.g., violence against members of the community), and the displacement of local people.
“We have similar issues in Canada when we think about resource extraction especially in Indigenous territories, with very little to no consideration of the interests of the Indigenous peoples whose territories this extraction is going to take place in. And that is something that has very much shaped Crown and Indigenous relations in B.C.,” she added.