by Brigitte Bocoum
World Bank, Live Wire 2017/70
This brief observes that equity and shared prosperity calls for a closer look at the working and living conditions of millions of mine workers in Africa, where tuberculosis (TB) imposes a high burden on mining economies and constitutes a regional public health crisis. Health hazards are reported to be perpetuated by poor enforcement of mining legislation, limited application of best international practices, weak institutions, and inadequate equipment and skills. In uncontrolled mining operations and communities of the type common in Africa, several factors are argued to combine to form a perfect storm for TB infection and transmission. The continent’s regional development communities should act urgently to establish public-private partnerships capable of ensuring that mining in fact benefits the region’s people in their path toward sustainable development.