Mining Conference gets underway on minerals for Africa's growth and development

By Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, December 14, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Second African Union (AU) Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development under the theme 'Building sustainable future for Africa's extractive industry, from vision to action' kicked off this week at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference, which concludes on Friday, is jointly organized by the Department of Trade and Industry of the AU and the Regional Integration and Trade Division of the United Nations Economic Commission (ECA).

The AU Acting Director of Trade and Industry, Mr. Jean Noel Francois informed the meeting that Africa has abundant mineral endowment and some of the world's largest mineral deposits "but consumes very little of its own mineral resources, and exports most of it as raw materials." He underscored the need to ensure that mineral resource wealth serves as an engine of growth and development long after the minerals have been depleted.

For his part, Director-General of the Geological Survey of Ethiopian Government, Mr. Masresha G/Selassie urged governments to work together and share experiences, information and expertise on the implementation of the Action Plan that accompanies the Africa Mining Vision.

The Director of the Regional Integration, Infrastructure and Trade Division of the ECA, Mr. Stephen Karingi lauded the AUC for the direction and leadership that has led to the Africa Mining Vision whose implementation has begun. He also commended the expert technical task force - International Study Group, whose report, 'Minerals and Africa's Development' will be launched this week.

The objective of the conference is to bring together African Ministers responsible for mineral resources development, African experts in mining and natural resources development to agree on the implementation of African Mining Vision. The discussions at the conference will focus on a draft action plan for the African Mining Vision that will serve as a framework for member States for the efficient utilization and management of Africa's mineral resources.

The discussions are also expected to increase commitment by African Chambers of Mines and Industry, African Private Sector, Academia, UN agencies, NGOs and other relevant development partners to the African Mining Vision. The expected outcomes include: the Adoption of a framework report on Africa's mineral regimes and agreement on the way forward.

Jointly issued by the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa:

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