Africa/International – The Australia Africa Mining Industry Group (AAMIG), the leading member association supporting the Australian extractive industry operating in Africa, is calling on African host governments to work towards providing an enabling environment for foreign investment in the mining sector.
In doing so, host governments also need to deliver on the Africa Mining Vision which calls for “the transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”.
The AAMIG maintains that despite the reduction in aid announced as part of Australia’s 2015 Federal Budget, the Australian government endeavours to continue to build long-lasting and strategic partnerships with African countries as they grow and develop over the next decade.
The reduction in aid, which is aimed at capacity building in host countries, will see industry and the Australian government working more collaboratively to deliver better outcomes in Africa, AAMIG acting CEO Adel van der Walt believes.
The organisation is calling for public debate to shift from the outdated thinking of aid as philanthropy and charity, to aid as economic diplomacy delivering long-term development employing and sustaining generations of Africans.
“This is also what the people of Africa want; access to opportunities and to make those opportunities sustainable and permanent. They want to be involved and meaningfully engaged in productive economic enterprises, which they often find in well-managed Australian mining, oil and gas companies working in their countries,” says Van der Walt.
Some 220 ASX-listed companies operate in Africa, of which about 110 are AAMIG members. The African mining industry is now the largest international market for Australian resource and mining equipment and technology services companies, owing to Africa’s good resource endowment and political progress in terms of movements towards more democratic forms of government.
These companies have been key partners for African countries exploring and developing their mineral endowment for broad-based economic and social development and over the last 15 to 20 years. Australia has played its part by being a major contributor with its entrepreneurial, ethical, responsible and well-run extractives companies making the ideal development partner for many African nations.
In a further step towards stronger Australia-Africa relations, AAMIG has boosted its cooperation with the Australian government including:
- Supporting Australia’s effective use of its embassies, ambassadors, trade commissioners and economic diplomacy programmes to support African governments to create and maintain quality regulatory frameworks that will attract foreign direct investment;
- Representing industry to government on initiatives such as the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, anti-bribery and corruption measures, gender issues, local procurement, health issues and community development initiatives;
- Closely liaising with the Australian Federal Police, the Federal Attorney-General’s Department and the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation in providing advice to Australian companies dealing with the challenges of operating in Africa, as well as working with agencies of the Western Australian government ; and
- Leading industry efforts to resolve barriers to investment in Africa and to ensure Australian companies operating in Africa operate to the highest possible governance, social and environmental standards.
The engagement by the Australian mining industry with the countries of Africa has been increasingly productive during the last 20 years, not only in terms of discoveries and mine developments, but also in terms of corporate responsibility and will continue to be so for many years to come.
In order to further strengthen Australia-Africa, the AAMIG’s aims to further enhance the position of the Australian mining industry active in Africa as the partner of choice and employer of choice.