The African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) and the African Natural Resources Centre of the African Development Bank (ANRC) partnered with the Nordic African Institute (NAI) to organise a webinar on Minerals and Africa’s Development on 26 February 2021. The webinar was the third in the series of knowledge events initiated in October 2020 to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Africa’s extractives sector and explore solutions for recovery and sustainable extractives development.
This third webinar focused on mining, in particular the relevance of the International Study Group Report on Minerals and Africa’s Development (ISG Report - 2010) and the Africa Mining Vision (AMV - 2009) for steering the continent’s socio-economic development and sustainable growth. The event also honoured the memories of Dr. Wilfred Lombe and Mr. Paul Msoma who contributed significantly to the development and significance of the ISG Report and the AMV – and who passed on early in the year after contracting COVID-19.
The Director and CEO of the ALSF, Mr. Stephen Karangizi, who moderated the event, provided context for the discussions, as well as challenged the speakers to critically assess the progress of the continent since the ISG Report and the AMV especially in terms of integrating mining into developmental policies and the relevance of the continental frameworks in the face of current developments such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Mining 4.0, and climate change.
The keynote speaker, Mr. Fui Tsikata, a mining law consultant, recounted the concerns, consultations, and events that led to publication of the ISG Report and adoption of the AMV by African Union Heads of State, and noted the progress in advancing their central message of evolving from mining as an enclave activity to a mining sector integrated into the national, regional, and continental economy through linkages. He urged more progress through distillation of the continental frameworks into implementable action plans while also taking into account contemporary challenges and opportunities of mining critical minerals for low carbon development. The ANRC’s Chief Minerals Officer, Mr. Jerry Ahadjie, emphasised the relevance of local content strategies and the creation of opportunities for local stakeholders along the mineral value chain in order to achieve the transformative agenda of the AMV, and discussed the critical success factors in local content development, which included appropriate legal frameworks and capacity to implement the strategies. Other contributions from Prof. Nellie Mutemeri, Dr. Yao Graham, Mr. Richard Morgan, and Prof. Magnus Ericsson, touched on and urged improvement of other relevant aspects of the ISG Report and the AMV, including artisanal and small scale mining (ASM), environment, gender, transparency, and international trade and global value chains.
For the ALSF, the takeaways from the event included the importance of the Africa Mining Vision in our transactional and capacity building support to our Regional Member Countries; the importance of our role in developing or enhancing the legal and institutional frameworks and capacities necessary to advance the RMCs’ linkages strategies or developmental agenda generally; and contributing to the update of the continental frameworks to include climate change considerations and strategies for development of critical minerals for Africa’s clean energy transition.
Stay tuned for our next webinar in this series on ‘The hydrocarbons sector: building a stronger and cleaner future through industrial and localisation strategies’.