Summary Brief 21
The extractive sector is of primary importance to African states. Of the 54 countries on the continent, 20 are considered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be rich in natural resources. These are countries whose natural resources account for more than 25 per cent of total exports. All are sub-Saharan African countries: seven export mainly oil and gas, and 13 export mainly minerals: mostly gold, diamonds and precious stones. The significant weight of the extractive sector in these states raises the question of the taxation of these natural resources, which are non-renewable. An innovative database on the taxation of mining industries in Africa has been put online on the Ferdi website, in partnership with Cerdi and ICTD. This database covers 21 sub-Saharan African countries over a period that varies according to the availability of information in each country but can go back to the 1980s. It was created based on the tax legislation and regulations of each country, essentially the income tax acts, finance acts and mining acts.4 It separates the general regime (applicable to all companies) from the mining regime (applicable only to holders of mineral rights for prospecting or exploitation on an industrial scale). It focuses on a single ore: gold.