Multi-stakeholder forum on African Mining Vision opens

Aburi (E/R), A two- day national multi stakeholders training workshop to discuss steps on implementing the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) is underway in Peduase in the Eastern Region.

The forum is also to agree on concrete steps to accelerate the development of the country’s natural resources as well as facilitate the process of awarding contracts in the sector for transparency and accountability.

The forum organized by the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) brought together stakeholders in the sector including civil society organizations, Ministries, Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies and Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy supported by Ford Foundation.

A statement read on behalf of Mr Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, commended ACEP for initiating a national discourse on the issue.

The Minister said the AMV was adopted by Heads of State at the February 2009 AU summit following the October 2008 meeting of African Ministers responsible for Mineral Resources Development.

The vision is Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existing side by side with pervasive poverty.

It calls for thinking outside the mining box, with focus on integrating mining much better into development policies at local, national and regional levels.

Mr Amewu said Africa was among the top mineral resource country and that there is the need to industrialize these resources to stimulate national development.

He said it is imperative on all to re-structure the country’s strategy and add more value to the natural resources to give opportunities to the youth to improve on their economic development.

Mr Amewu urged all to focus on a sustainable plan and action for the mining vision since it was critical to the country’s socio-economic development.

He urged participants to come out with workable policies that would guide the country’s industrialization strategy to move the sector forward.

Pauline Vande-Pallen, Third World Network Africa, said African governments must work together to address the limited links to overall development in the mining sector and pay more attention to local enterprises.

She said the mining vision creates opportunities for strong participation in the various processes and support the structural transformation of the country’s economies.

Mr Benjamin Boakye, the Executive Director of ACEP, said the country has been slow in the implementation of the vision in that there was no progress since the establishment, stating that only few countries have conceptualized the vision.

He said the forum would analyze the challenges and map up a specific action plan to facilitate the vision as well as integrate the content by leveraging the policies to maximize its benefits.

He called on African leaders to hasten the process of implementation of the vision to enjoy the full benefits of the country’s natural resources.

Participants called for local participation in the award of contracts since many of these sub-contracts were given to the foreigners.

They called for a follow-up plan to ensure the implementation and evaluation of the vision since the country was good at initiating policies but lacked in implementation.

Source: Ghana News Agency