Salient points from the European Commission-African Union Commission High Level Conference “Translating Mineral Resource Wealth into Real Development for Africa”
In times of increasing demand for minerals, intensifying pressure on natural resources on the one hand and persistently high levels of poverty on the other hand, the role extractive industries could potentially play for development in Africa has again become highly topical.
Obviously, the issue of raw materials and sustainable development is not a new topic. The development conundrums that might come along with the blessing of natural resources are as old as the use of those resources for human civilization itself. What seems to be new is the growing willingness among a diverse range of stakeholders, including national and local governments, extractive industries, business associations, civil society organisations and international NGOs, to jointly reflect on how to harness raw material wealth to bring about sustainable development.
What is more, the adoption of the “African Mining Vision” by the leaders of the continent has marked a key milestone in terms of African countries jointly putting forward their own strategic priorities and for ensuring that their mineral resources contribute to equitable development and achieving national poverty reduction goals.