Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 14 December 2011 – African ministers responsible for mining and mineral resources development are meeting in the Ethiopian capital this week for the final formulation and implementation of a mining policy framework for the continent.
According to a statement from the African Union (AU) Secretariat, the 2nd AU conference of ministers responsible for minerals is due to close on Friday of this week.
The forum is following the theme ‘Building a sustainable future for Africa’s extractive industry from vision into action.’
“This is the perfect time for mining ministers to meet again. Two years ago they agreed on a policy framework for linking mining with development, now there is increasing momentum as we move forward to implementation,” said Ayoup El-Rashidi Zaid, senior policy officer at the African Union.
The conference expects ministers, government officials and donors, together with industry representatives and civil society organisations, to chart ways on how to take Africa’s mining vision forward. A key priority of the Africa mining vision is to see the mining industry becoming a catalyst for broad-based sustainable development.
The mining vision argues that until now mining has been run as an enclave activity, meaning that the economic and social linkages within Africa itself have not been as strong as they should be.
“It’s high time there was a rethink on the way mining regimes are set up in Africa “’ at the very least, governments need to move beyond a tax and spend approach to their mining policy, and to start thinking outside the mining box,” noted El-Rashidi.
“By narrowing the focus on mining itself, we have neglected to work out how to make use of mining as a catalyst for development “’ now that’s all changing and it’s time to shift the paradigm,” he pointed out.