African Ministers adopt Mining Vision to reform continent’s mining sector
A historic decision was reached in Addis Ababa Friday December 16, 2011, by African Ministers responsible for mineral resources when they adopted the African Mining Vision and Action Plan resolving to act to reform the continent’s mining sector for the good of Africa.
At the 2nd African Union Conference on a Sustainable Future for Africa’s Extractive Industry, the Mining Ministers from several countries, including, Algeria, Congo, Ethiopia, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia adopted the plan of action that was proposed by senior officials from 29 African countries, and experts.
The Ethiopian Minister for Mines, Sinkinesh Ejigu, who chaired this year’s Mining Conference, had earlier urged Africa’s development partners at a roundtable on the implementation of the Mining Vision to play a key role in overcoming the challenges confronting the mining sector, the organisers have said in a press statement.
The declaration urges African countries ‘to swiftly reform its policy space to align it to the tenets of the Africa Mining Vision’. It continues ‘at the centre of the Vision is a developmental state that integrates the mining sector into broader social and economic developmental processes’.
It suggests a number of practical ways in which the Africa Mining Vision can be implemented on a country-by-country basis. The recommendations to ministers include investing windfall earnings into stabilization funds, in infrastructure and in sovereign wealth funds. All these will help sustain development well after mines have been exhausted.
The declaration also endorses the Africa Mining Vision Plan of Action ‘as a continental tool for guiding the prudent, transparent and efficient development and management of Africa’s mineral resources in order to meet the MDGs, eradicate poverty and secure intergenerational equity’.
The declaration calls on the Africa Union Commission in collaboration with the ECA and the African Development Bank to help member States implement the Vision with support from development partners.
The conference also resolved to reverse the current trend in Africa’s mining sector for economic growth.
The Ministers will submit the action plan to their Heads of State for implementation.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, back from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia