The African Development Bank (AfDB) is the main sponsor of the African Mining Ministerial Forum, a unique occasion where African ministers of mines discussed opportunities offered by the mining sector to their specific countries. The conference provided a unique platform for networking and business development with senior industry representatives, financial sponsors, and other professionals with key government officials on potential projects, country strategies and areas of cooperation.
In the presence of distinguished guest ministers in the mining sector representing Zambia, Ghana and Sierra Leone, the forum presented a good opportunity for senior industry representatives and private sector investors to share experiences and knowledge in the mining domain directly from countries and to examine future opportunities and challenges to implement new mining projects in Africa.
Speaking at the Forum, Zambia’s mines and minerals development minister, Maxwell Mwale, emphasized the importance of having a stable political succession and enhanced infrastructure development, which, he said, had facilitated the development of Zambia’s mining sector. Several amendments have been made to the mining regime in consultation with all stakeholders, taking into account, some important issues raised in his presentation.
Another key intervention came from Sierra Leone’s mines and mineral resources minister, Minkailu Mansaray, who gave a presentation on his country’s mining history and underscored the government’s enhanced approach to developing the sector: a new act was passed introducing new provisions for exploration and mining development to ensure that Sierra Leone’s mining processes met international practices.
Further remarks came from Ghana’s deputy minerals and natural resources minister, Henry Kamel, who dwelt on his country’s revised policy interventions, which facilitated dialogue between mining companies and all stakeholders, to ensure the equitable sharing of financial and economic benefits.
For his part, the industries and services manager at the AfDB’s private sector department, Mouhmadou Niang, made a presentation on the Bank’s products and services, with a snap-shot of its private sector experience in the mining sector.
Furthermore, Peter Leon, the International Bar Association’s mining committee chairman, made a presentation on the Model Mining Development Agreement (MMDA), and its role and importance in assisting governments to negotiate mining concession agreements.
Finally, interactive discussions between speakers and the audience underscored the conference theme’s importance in setting the pace for improved partnership between the public and private sector in developing the mining sector in Africa.