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The gold sector in Madagascar: at the heart of illicit practices

The case of Dabolava and Betsiaka

In Madagascar, illicit practices such as corruption and money laundering are increasing at all levels of the gold mining value chain. Numerous cases of gold trafficking come to light. What are the causes behind this poor governance? Who are the actors involved? You will find our recommendations for ensuring that the gold sector can finally be a major source of development for the Malagasy government and population. Dive with us to the core of the illicit practices of the gold value chain in Madagascar!

Also available in French
28 November 2022
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The gold sector in Madagascar: at the heart of illicit practices

This U4 Brief in English is a short version of the full report Le secteur de l’or à Madagascar : au cœur des pratiques illicites. Le cas de Dabolava et Betsiaka, available in French.

Main points

  • In Madagascar, the state has adopted various measures to improve the governance of gold exploitation and has devised a national strategy for the governance of the gold industry to combat illicit practices. But some links in the chain are not playing their role.
  • Corruption, illegal exploitation of natural resources and gold laundering, fraud and tax evasion, smuggling and money laundering are identified as drivers of the increase in illicit practices in the gold sector.
  • Other problems such as the legal vacuum that exists in relation to bedrock mining, a lack of communication between state institutions, the poor distribution of roles between institutions, the practice of exploiting gold outside of authorised locations and counterfeiting in the gold sector were also identified.
  • Strategic recommendations are made to the administrative bodies responsible for mining and all ministries involved in mining activities to clarify the role and positioning of each institution, strengthen their capacity to enforce legislation and control the actors involved, and put in place an internal anti-corruption policy.
  • Concrete recommendations for each phase, from the exploitation to export – including marketing, transport and processing – of gold, are proposed with the identification of the actors for each measure.
  • The application of the proposed measures and the strengthening of awareness campaigns to formalise the sector should enable the Malagasy State to put a stop to the losses it faces in gold mining and, instead, benefit from this potential major source of development.

Cite this publication

Rabenandrasana, C.; Harris, I.; Rabemazava, D.; (2022) The gold sector in Madagascar: at the heart of illicit practices. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2022:5)

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About the authors

Clément Rabenandrasana

Clément Rabenandrasana, a geological engineer by training, is the Executive Secretary of a civil society platform working in the extractive industries sector in Madagascar. In addition, he is a researcher and doctoral student at the Doctoral School of Natural Resource Management and Development at the University of Antananarivo. Clément worked for 8 years as a geologist in exploration projects for gold, uranium and rare minerals in the North and South of Madagascar. He then worked as a technical advisor in artisanal mining, notably in the governance section of the gold sector of the Environmental Management Support Programme of the German Cooperation in Madagascar (GIZ Madagascar).

Ignace Harris

Ignace Harris is a research consultant specialising in anti-corruption and illicit financial flows in the mining sector. He holds a Master's degree in Political Science. He has worked primarily with international organisations and coalitions promoting anti-corruption and transparency in the extractive industries. Ignace's previous work includes assessing the opportunities and challenges in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, assessing corruption risks in mining licences and the environmental risks of large-scale mining projects. In addition to his research on the governance of mining resources, he is also interested in the issues and challenges of community-based management of forest resources. Ignace is also involved in the promotion of human rights and gender through an NGO based in South Africa.

Daniel Rabemazava

Daniel Rabenandrasana, who has a degree in Marketing, Communication and Journalism and a Master's degree in Humanitarian and Development Studies from the Madagascar Institut d'Etudes Politiques, is a consultant in Gender, Development and Communication. He is an activist for the protection of women's rights and the fight against gender-based violence. He is currently in charge of communication and documentation at the NGO Women Lead Movement Madagascar. Daniel is also a photojournalist and has won three times the Regards Croisés regional competition in the Indian Ocean, in the category of professional reportage. He is specialised in storytelling and photographic story making. He is a trainer at the Institute of Photography Training of Madagascar and at the Academy of Arts and Culture of Madagascar. He is also a member of the board of the Union of Professional Photographers of Madagascar.


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