The Central African Republic Minister of Mines, Energy and Hydrology, Leopold Mboli-Fatrane, and his South African counterpart, Mosebenzi Zwane, have signed an MoU.

Pursuant to the meeting between Presidents Faustin-Archange Touadera and Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma during the state visit to the Central African Republic in April 2017, both Ministers Mboli-Fatrane and Zwane reaffirmed their commitment to formalize relations to collaborate in mining and upstream petroleum development.

The MoU denotes key areas of cooperation, which include, albeit not limited to:

  • Geology, exploration, mining, processing and beneficiation of minerals
  • Environmental management, community development and mine health and safety
  • Exchange of expertise, skills development and human capacity building in the fields of exploration, mining, beneficiation as well as upstream petroleum development
  • Reciprocal investment promotion initiatives
  • Cooperation between relevant entities and institutions of the two countries in exploration, mining and upstream petroleum development fields
  • Strengthening and harmonizing mining and upstream mineral and upstream petroleum policies, legislation and the regulatory framework, consistent with the objectives of the African Union’s African mining vision
  • Reciprocal mining and upstream petroleum investment initiatives.

The ministers expressed satisfaction with the areas of cooperation contained in the MoU and endorse an apex of priority for implementation of the portfolio of collaboration initiative.

In this regard, the ministers prioritized the following areas for immediate implementation:

  • Recognising the paucity of geological knowledge of the Central African Republic, the ministers directed the Council for Geosciences to work with relevant institutions of the Central African Republic to start with pre-competitive exploration programme, with emphasis on geological mapping and hydro-geological investigations.
  • Following the visit of both ministers to the University of Bangui’s sciences faculty, the Ministers acknowledge the state of dire need for institutional capacity development at the university and directed that special attention be given to the university. The ministers reiterated the important role played by the institutions of learning in securing, amongst others, long term and sustainable growth and development of the mining and petroleum sectors, security and upliftment of the poorest members of community
  • The ministers identified an important need for an inward-focused promotion of investment in mining and upstream petroleum resources. In this regard, the Ministers agreed to convene a Mining Investment Forum in Bangui within mine months from the date of signing the MoU
  • The ministers also agreed to an exchange skills programme for university students and interested personnel with mining/upstream petroleum development.

The ministers directed officials to develop a comprehensive implementation plan within a month, under the judicious leadership of the respective directors-general within their department.

They further directed that the technical teams meet in Bangui before the end of September.

The ministers noted the sacrifices of the 13 South African soldiers who perished in seeking to secure peace and stability in the Central African Republic.

Accordingly, both ministers agreed to pay tribute to the fallen heroes and honour them through effective and efficient implementation of the MoU being signed.

Feature image credit: Wikimedia