Mer01282015

Last updateMer, 28 Jan 2015 10am

Development: 'Reinvest mining revenues in people'

Cape Town, South Africa - Multilateral development organisations have called on the private sector in Africa to join forces with them in ensuring that the revenues from mining are reinvested in people.

The call was made by the organisations on the margins of Africa’s largest annual mining conference, “Mining Indaba”, in Cape Town, South Africa, to coincide with Monday's observance of the African Mining Vision Day (AMV Day).

AMV Day is hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), housed by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in close collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is supported by Australian Aid and the World Bank.

“AMV Day 2014 would be the first of a long term process of dialogues and partnership building with a view to increasing mutual understanding on how to promote sustainable development in the extractive sector in Africa and the need for mutual benefits between host country and mining companies,” the organisations said in a joint statement made available to PANA here Monday.

A downward trend in commodity prices and in particular minerals has raised uncertainty on the momentum of the continent’s sustainability agenda. For instance, during the first four months of 2013, mining stocks fell nearly 20 percent.

Industry leaders, ministers, policy-makers, members of academia and international organisations are urging the private sector to play a stronger role in fast-tracking the implementation of the African Union (AU)’s Africa Mining Vision, which aims to ensure the extractive sector can boost social and economic development across the continent.

Nearly one quarter of Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is now based on extractive resources, the highest ratio among all regions.

Between 2000 and 2008 alone, the value created from natural resources in Africa rose from US$39.2 billion to US$240 billion.

The extractive sector is expected to play a catalytic role in the development in many African countries.

To that end, the organisations said, the resources from mining need to be reinvested in infrastructure and further growth, while opening opportunities for economic diversification and transformation.

They said the management of mining revenues would entail the creation of more effective public-private partnerships and closer involvement from other stakeholders, including local communities and governments.

In December, the ECA, AUC, AfDB and UNDP launched the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) to help implement the Africa Mining Vision.

The new hub will help implement the African Mining Vision, which aims to ensure Africa’s mineral resources can support economic growth and development.

It will also translate that vision into practical solutions for reducing poverty and involving people in development.

Pana 04/02/2014