Project Case Study
Undertaking a political economy analysis of the mining sector in Tajikistan
Understanding the formal and informal structures, institutions and stakeholders which influence the mining sector
The extractives sector in Tajikistan presents a huge opportunity for economic growth that is currently not being realised. Mineral reserves are likely to be far higher than original Soviet-era estimates. Tajikistan’s assets include the Bolshoi Konimansur silver deposit, which when operational will be the largest silver mine in the world, with an estimated 50,000 tons.
Tajikistan however remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with a significant unemployment problem and over 60% of the population living in relative poverty. In the absence of viable jobs in their home country, up to a million Tajiks migrate to work in Russia.
The extractives sector could therefore play a significant role in helping Tajikistan’s development.
To help realise this potential economic growth, we were asked by the World Bank in 2011 to conduct a political economy analysis of the country’s mining sector, in order to identify various drivers that influence the environment for governance, institutions, and stakeholders. The analysis mapped the interactions between stakeholders and the legal and institutional frameworks governing the sector, and examined the way in which these formal governance mechanisms were actually adhered to on the ground. We considered the extractives sector in terms of a value chain, including the way the government handles the awarding of concessions and licenses, the regulation and monitoring of operations, the collection of taxes and royalties and revenue distribution and management.
As a result of our work, the World Bank gained a better understanding of the sector, enabling them to make more informed decisions on future interventions. We made recommendations on where and how they ought to intervene in order to ensure that the mining sector in Tajikistan acted as a catalyst for development. These recommendations have been used in the development of proposal requests for technical assistance projects in order to ensure the sector contributes to and does not hinder Tajikistan’s development.