The series of remarkable political transitions early in 2011 poses some difficult questions for senior management of natural resource companies. With new and unpredicted political dynamics taking hold in Egypt, Tunisia, Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire – and more change to come in, for example, South Sudan (which will gain an independent government for the first time in July) and the score of African countries with elections planned this year – executives may be apprehensive of the impacts such turmoil can have on their operations.
Often there is little a company can (or should) do to influence political developments of this sort. At the same time, our experience – from advising clients on political and stakeholder risk using the LicenseSecure Navigate service, and from our database of research into 100+ projects – suggests that there are some responsible tactics they can adopt to help navigate them. The cases below may be food for thought for managers in comparable settings.