The African mining partnership was launched in 2004 to further the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) objectives through mining and minerals initiatives in the quest for economic development in the continent.
Countries were assigned projects to spearhead and ensure that they contribute significantly towards growing Africa’s economy through its mineral wealth. African Ministers responsible for mining have successfully lobbied that the African mining partnership should be located under the African Union, meaning this will be the last African mining partnership taking place under the auspices of NEPAD.
Locating the African mining partnership within the African Union will greatly improve its standing and will hopefully attract more countries to participate. Ghana is the chairman of the African mining partnership with South Africa as the secretariat and organiser of the event.
This merger will also give African mining partnership access to the African Union’s financial resources and help it achieve its vision of increasing the benefit of Africa’s mineral wealth for its own people. African mining partnership attracts the industry due to the presence of the African ministers responsible for mining, hence it provide opportunity for networking.
Various initiatives were undertaken by the African mining partnership to alleviate poverty in the continent, these include:
Established beneficiation framework intended to maximise the economic benefit of mineral value addition and to increase Africa’s productive capacity, revenue generation and employment creation from the exploitation of mineral resources within the continent.
Base case studies in respect of marketing, financing as well as safety, health and environment strategies for artisan and small scale mining was finalised.
African mining policy framework
A mining policy framework for Africa, which seeks to harmonise Africa’s mining regulatory environment to attract investment and achieve socio-economic development.
Sustainable Development Charter
Sustainable development charter to provide a collective framework for a vision on “sustainable development for Africa” in the mineral and the mining sector was established.
Human resource development framework
Human resource development framework was established to address the skills gap to fully develop the mineral sector in Africa and creation of centres of excellence across the continent was recommended
Exclusive economy zones
Developed a framework and procedures for member countries with coastlines to apply for an extension of their exclusive economy zones
During the African mining partnership meeting held on 5 February 2009 in Durban, South Africa, member countries were urged to submit their respective assessments of the impact of registration, evaluation, and authorisation of chemical substances and to continue lobbying their parliaments and the European Union on registration, evaluation, and authorisation of chemical substances and to identify beneficiation opportunities intended to mitigate the impact of registration, evaluation, and authorisation of chemical substances in Africa.
Through the African mining partnership, the African continent arrived at a collective position to challenge the classification of nickel carbonates as a carcinogenic one substance without scientific base.
A voluntary organisation, the African mining partnership has been seeking affiliation with the African Union since its inception in South Africa in 2003.
The announcement by the heads of state of the African Union Assembly to merge the African mining partnership with the Conference of African Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resource Development (CAMRMRD), under the auspices of the African Union Commission of Trade and Industry was made by the commissioner, at the African mining partnership sixth meeting, held in Durban from 3 to 5 February 2009.
This African mining partnership meeting was attended by 15 African ministers responsible for mineral resource development, as well as 20 representatives of other African countries, representatives of the African Union Commission and various mining organisations.
The meeting also recommended that the African mining policy framework and African Mining Partnership projects should be reconsidered and aligned to the African mining vision and that the Sustainable Development Charter for the minerals and mining sector in Africa should be implemented.
Member states with coastlines were urged to remember the deadline of 19 May to submit claims to the United Nations for extension of their exclusive economic zones beyond the 200 nautical miles.
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Issued by: Department of Mineral Resources
5 February 2010
Source: Department of Minerals and Energy (http://www.dme.gov.za/)