The 16th Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts (ICE) which was organized jointly by the UNECA – Sub regional Office for Eastern Africa (SRO-EA) and the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, from 13 to 17 February 2012. The meeting was organized under the theme “Harnessing the APRM Potential to Advance Mineral Resources Governance in Africa”.
The main objective of the 16th ICE was to examine regulatory issues related to the mandate and operation of SRO-EA, assess the socioeconomic situation in the sub-region; create partnerships to develop regional cooperation and integration, and, most of all, to reflect on how to harness the potential of the APRM with the view to strengthening accountability, creating a social compact for sustainable development in the mineral sector and fostering real transformation in the management of mineral resources in Africa for the benefit of all.
Opening remarks were delivered by representative of the Government of Djibouti, the Deputy CEO of the APRM Secretariat and by the Director of the SRO-EA.
The meeting brought together experts and decision makers, representatives from 14 Eastern and Southern African countries, including delegates from the newly-born nation of Southern Sudan, and representatives of sub-regional, regional and international organizations. Annual and study reports were represented in plenary sessions. Group discussions were also held to allow participants to exchange views and assess the presented reports. Within the framework of the 16th ICE, two ad-hoc expert meetings were also organized to review the following two publications: (i) Towards a common currency in the East African Community (EAC) region: issues, challenges and prospects (ii) Natural resources and conflict management: the case of land.
One of the presentations made by Mr. Kojo Busia, Chief of APRM Support Section (GPAD) was the background study on the theme of the meeting which highlighted the main achievements of the APRM to date and identified the main issues and challenges in using the mechanism as a tool for achieving real transformation in the management of mineral resources in Africa for the benefit of its people. A panel discussion on this topic was held and both the presentation and discussion raised a number of contextual issues related to mining sector governance and regimes in Africa and underlined the need to make the APRM an effective governance tool to improve the development outcomes of mineral resources development on the continent.