ECA, AU to launch major report on Africa’s minerals and development

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Union will launch a major report on Africa’s minerals and development today December 15, 2011.

The launch will take place on the sidelines of the on-going Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The report titled “Minerals and Africa’s Development” was compiled by a team of 20 experts – the International Study Group (ISG) – drawn from the United Nations, universities, Civil Society and the mining research community in Africa, Europe and North America, a joint statement from the two bodies said.

The 200-paged report, according to the statement, includes numerous case studies and data on all aspects of mining in Africa – and indeed frequently makes reference to experience outside the continent.

Each chapter of the report identifies the policy implications that came out of its detailed analysis of Africa mining regimes. Further it emphasises that there is a need to revisit the major issues one by one; but this must be done each time from a development perspective, it adds.

Wilfred Lombe, Chief, Infrastructure and Natural Resources Development at the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Division of the ECA is quoted as saying “This Report concludes that one reason that mineral wealth has not led to development in Africa is that mining has until now often been treated as a separate issue.”

He added “Most of the time policy decisions have been dominated by questions of how best to tax mining companies and then how to spend the revenue and this is a reflection of the enclave status of much mining in Africa.”

The experts and senior officials are currently reviewing an Action Plan for consideration by the Ministers responsible for Minerals on Thursday and Friday this week and it is expected that the Ministers will adopt the Action Plan for implementation, officials say.

By Ekow Quandzie

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