[Africa] Continental vision identifies mining’s role in transforming economies – by David Oliveira (MiningWeekly.com – October 21, 2016)


JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The need to diversify Africa’s primary-resource export-focused economies in support of other industry-related value chains is key to helping transform the continent’s economy and generate greater wealth from its significant minerals endowment.

At this year’s Joburg Indaba, which took place earlier this month in Johannesburg, Chamber of Mines of South Africa VP Neal Froneman noted that the African Union (AU) had adopted the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) based on the principle of moving away from minerals extraction to broader development imperatives that integrated minerals policies with economic and socioeconomic development policies.

“What this means in practice is using our country’s vast mineral resources as a catalyst for developments so that it can play a transforma- tive role,” he added.

However, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) executive secretary Carlos Lopes points out in an email interview with Mining Weekly that mineral resource exploitation in Africa has not translated into significant and transformative development, owing to factors such as a lack of the requisite skills and resources to support the mining sector. This, in turn, can be attributed to “education and training institutions that are, generally, inadequately resourced to meet the growing demands of the mining sector and address the skills gap”.

Further, he notes that many of the institutions supporting minerals development in Africa are weak. “These include government departments charged with the responsibility of formulating policies, laws and regulations, those tasked with negotiating mineral development agreements, as well as monitoring and regulating the exploitation of mineral resources.”

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