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African Ministers told to adopt effective mineral management policies to boost economic growth

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African Ministers responsible for mining have been urged to “adopt effective mineral management policies and ensure the exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources can play a vital role in the attainment of the MDGs, boosting economic growth and eradicating poverty.”

According to a press release from the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) December 16, 2011, the call was made by Maxwell Mkwezalamba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Acting Commissioner for Trade and Industry at the African Union (AU) during the opening of the Conference of African Ministers Responsible or Mineral Resources Development, December 15, following technical meetings of senior officials and industry experts.

Ethiopian Minister of Mines, Sinkinesh Ejigu is cited in the statement as saying that the intensive mineral and petroleum operation activities of the mining and oil companies with international experience poses new challenges to the continent.

She indicated that the main challenges of the regulatory bodies for all African countries are negotiating and monitoring the mineral and petroleum operation activities of these companies.

Economist Joseph Atta-Mensah, according to the ECA, posited that the State would have to take on a greater role to guide the implementation of the Action Plan.

“The country level is where these actions will be implemented and that is where there is the greatest need to call all of us to action –mining companies, communities, civil society and development partners,” he said.

The Conference was held on the theme “Building a sustainable future for Africa’s extractive industry: – from vision to action.” It comes two years after member States formulated the Africa Mining Vision Plan (AMV) that puts the continent’s long term and broad development objectives at the heart of all policy making concerned with mineral extraction.

At the end of the conference, Ministers adopted the Action Plan Friday December 16, 2011.

By Ekow Quandzie

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