Cape Town, 04 February 2014 - On Africa Mining Vision day, at Mining Indaba, African Union Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Fatima Haram Acyl said the Africa Mining Vision is a shared responsibility whose implementation requires the collaboration of many actors, including private sector civil society, parliaments, funding partners and governments.
She said the vision needs partnerships that are based on mutual benefits; it is not intended for advancing the interests of one or two mining companies.
“We cannot promote the narrow interests of a company at the expense of mutual benefits and development. Our role is to advise African countries on what is in their best interest in relation to their own development,” she said.
While only profitable companies can contribute to development, “only those companies that strike a mutually beneficial relationship with the governments can mine for a long time,” she added.
She stressed that the partnership between governments and mining companies must deliver wealth for mining companies and development that is inclusive, equitable and sustainable.
The sessions focused on creating a better understanding of how partnerships with the private sector can support broad skills and capacities as well as enhancing skills for the local content value chain.
“Industry is the ultimate consumer of skills and has a direct interest in both their quality and quantity,” she said. As such, noted the Commissioner, the industry must broaden its participation in the skills needs that emerge from the value chain through a range of areas, such as partnerships with universities for technical and social research and provision of knowledge resources and equipment.
Canada’s Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, Christian Paradis said his country’s experience can serve in the realization of the Africa Mining Vision.
“Our experience has made us a leader in the field of responsible natural resource development. We are committed to helping African countries to manage their natural resources responsibly and transparently, so that these precious assets are used to accelerate growth, create jobs and reduce poverty.
“I firmly believe that sustainable, private sector-led economic growth and poverty reduction are two sides of the same coin,” he added.
Sue Moore, First Secretary – Development Cooperation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia, said, “As a founding supporter of the African Minerals Development Centre, the Australian Government believes today’s forum provides a unique opportunity to deepen our collective efforts to progress beyond visioning to implementation. Australia is proud to partner with the AUC, AMDC, ECA, and with Canada, in this process.”
Mining Indaba is Africa’s largest gathering of the mining industry. In 2014 it has attracted close to 10,000 attendees from around the continent and the world. The African Minerals Development Centre, which is a partnership of the Economic Commission for Africa, AUC, African Development Bank and the Regional Africa Bureau of the United Nations Development Programme.