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The African Mining Vision: Transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources

The African Mining Vision: Transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of Africa’s mineral resources

September 01, 2021

Agenda 2063, Africa’s long term development strategy places emphasis on, amongst other things the need to harness Africa’s natural resources in an efficient and effective manner to ensure that first and foremost, African citizens and African countries benefit from Africa’s natural endowments by implementing policies, laws and other regulatory frameworks to guide the extraction and use of these natural endowments for economic growth and development. Resource-based development and industrialisation strategies have been identified as key to catapulting Africa’s growth.

However, whereas Africa is the world’s top producer of numerous mineral commodities and has significant resources of fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and large biomass and bio-fuels potential (ethanol, bio-diesel), the continent lacks systematic geological mapping which could bring to light a much greater resource base. Furthermore, most of Africa’s minerals are exported as ores, concentrates or metals, without significant value-addition thereby reducing Africa’s global trading position to one of a price taker, subject to the vagaries of global commodity markets.

The vision for a well-structured and properly managed African mining sector is encapsulated in the African Union’s African Mining Vision (AMV), which calls for the “Transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”.

The AMV envisages an African mining sector that is:

  • Knowledge-driven and contributes to growth & development which is fully integrated into a single African market;
  • Sustainable and well-governed and effectively garners and deploys resource rents, is safe, healthy, gender & ethnically inclusive, environmentally friendly, socially responsible and appreciated by surrounding communities;
  • A key component of a diversified, vibrant and globally competitive industrialising African economy
  • Helping to establish a competitive African infrastructure platform, through the maximisation of its propulsive local & regional economic linkages;
  • Optimising Africa’s finite mineral resource endowments and that is diversified, incorporating both high value metals and lower value industrial minerals at both commercial and small-scale levels;
  • Harnessing the potential of artisanal and small-scale mining to stimulate local/national entrepreneurship, improve livelihoods and advance integrated rural social and economic development;
  • A major player in a vibrant and competitive national, continental and international capital and commodity markets.

To achieve the AMV, proactive, deliberate and sustainable actions from key stakeholders, particularly governments is required such as:

  • Facilitating and nurturing human resources development and skills formation;
  • Providing supporting infrastructure - roads, rail, energy and water and telecom;
  • Encouraging the establishment of strong instruments of collaboration e.g. industry associations and Chambers of Mines;
  • Promoting local beneficiation and value addition of minerals to provide manufacturing feedstock;
  • Establishing an industrial base through backward and forward linkages;
  • Improving the Quality of the Business Environment by encouraging and supporting small and medium-scale enterprises to enter the supply chain; increasing private sector confidence and participation, and reducing entry barriers and operating costs to achieve external economies of scale;
  • Ensuring compliance of industry players with the highest standards of corporate governance, and environmental, social and material stewardship;
  • Establishing the requisite enabling markets and common platforms for services (raising capital, commodity exchanges, legal and regulatory support, marketing support and know-how);
  • Harnessing the potential of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs); and
  • Promoting regional integration and harmonization to facilitate factor flows.

The AMV is supported by AU legal instruments and institutions such as the African Minerals Development Centre which will oversee and coordinate the implementation of the AMV and enable the mineral source sector to play its role in the social economic transformation, inclusive growth and sustainable development for African economies.

The African Mining Vision is one of several continental frameworks that have been developed under Agenda 2063 to address the development of key sectors such as Agriculture (the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme, CAADP); Trade (Boosting Intra African Trade, BIAT and Accelerated Industrial Development for Africa, AIDA); Transport (The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa, PIDA); energy and mining (The African Mining Vision AMV); and education science and technology (the Science Technology Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA).

Find out more about the African Mining Vision on