AU urges coherent regulatory frameworks to modernise Africa’s mining sector
African Union Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat speaks during the opening session of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 25, 2018. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)
ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 25, 2018 (AltAfrika)-The African Union (AU) on Thursday urged its member states to apply effective measures in a bid to modernize and augment the benefit from the continent’s mining sector.
The pan African block made the call during the 30th AU assembly of heads of state and government, which is underway from Jan. 22 to 29 at its headquarters in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa.
Muchanga Albert, AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, told journalists on the sidelines of the summit that member states should set up coherent policies, prudent and strong legal and regulatory frameworks to effectively cascade the mining sector.
According to the AU, Africa is the world’s top producer of numerous mineral commodities and has the world’s greatest resources of many more, but most of Africa still lacks systematic geological mapping which could bring to light a much greater resource base.
Though Africa has significant known resources of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and has large biomass and bio-fuels potential (ethanol, bio-diesel), most of Africa’s minerals are exported as ores, concentrates or metals, without significant value-addition, it was noted.
Albert further indicated that the AU together with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA), in a bid to ensure that Africa benefits from the Extractions of the continent’s mineral resources, have developed various measures and instruments.
According to Albert, a Geological and Mineral Infrastructure System (GMIS) Strategy, which will assist AU member states in having full knowledge of their mineral wealth endowment is one among the initiatives introduced.
He also revealed the African Governance Framework, which envisaged to ensure mutual transparency and mutual accountability between governments and mining firms with the objective of ensuring that Africa earns optimal benefits from its mineral resources.
The Africa Mining Vision Private Sector Compact, which aimed at ensuring mutual trust between governments and mining companies, was validated in Namibia in October by the Continental Association of Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations in Africa (ACMMAA) to streamline efforts in the sector.