The first-ever African Union Mining Forum is billed to hold between November 13 and 15 in Accra, Ghana under the theme: “Africa Mining Vision At 10: Looking Back, Moving Forward?” The event is holding exactly ten years since Heads of States and Government of the African Union adopted the African Mining Vision (AMV) in 2009.
AMV’s long-term goal is that of attaining “transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development.” It essentially seeks for the utilization of Africa’s natural resources sector to transform the continent’s social and economic development.
It was in a bid to promote the domestication of the AMV that the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) was established in 2013, as an agency of the AU Commission. In January 2016, the AU Heads of State and Government adopted a statute establishing the AMDC as a specialized agency of the AU while their July 2018 summit selected the Republic of Guinea as host of AMDC’s secretariat.
Accordingly, the mining forum is being jointly hosted by AMDC and the Ghana Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR), in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Other partners are the African Development Bank (AfDB); Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development (IGF)/ International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) as well as CONNEX Support Unit – the implementation body of the G7 CONNEX Initiative; the Initiative was established in 2014 to strengthen advisory support to governments of low-income countries in the negotiation of complex commercial contracts in the extractive sector.
The forum is as such intended to serve as a platform for diverse stakeholders to discuss emerging and recurring mining policy issues in Africa – with a particular focus on the future of Africa’s mineral sector. It will also provide an opportunity for the AU Commission and AMV’s implementing partners, to stir a reflective discussion about key achievements and milestones achieved by AMV in the last decade, as a stepping stone towards ensuring the continent is equipped to tap opportunities for the future.
AMV recognizes the continent’s substantial mineral endowments as key driver for structural transformation, industrialization and sustained growth. The Forum will thus generate common and strategic positions as well as explore homegrown policy actions for mineral-rich African economies. It will also facilitate peer-learning and knowledge exchange between African countries on the management of mineral resources for sustainable development; with a view to deepen the effectiveness and impact of mining sector reforms across Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Member States.
Outcomes of the forum will, amongst others, feed into global and regional discussions, including informing the AMV revision process and AMV implementing partners’ programmes in Africa. The Forum will as well provide space for multi-stakeholders including senior officials from AU Member States, RECs, civil society, private sector and multilateral institutions to discuss emerging or present priorities, through strategic policy discussions.
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