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Statement by Ambassador Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry Delivered at the Opening Ceremony of the 3rd Africa Mining Summit (AMS III)

October 11, 2017

Registered Professional Engineer Alan M. Clegg, Chairman of the 2017 Africa Mining Summit , Independent Consultant and Chairman of Shumba Energy;
Honourable Advocate Sadique Kebonang, MP and Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security of the Republic of Botswana;
Honourable Ministers here present;
Mr. Andrew Dowell, Chief Executive Officer of GRV Global;
Your Excellences Ambassadors and Heads of Mission accredited to the Republic of Botswana;
Business Leaders;
Investors;
Exhibitors and Suppliers;
Distinguished Mining Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am happy to be with you at the Third Africa Mining Summit being held under the theme: “Reviving Africa Mining Products”.
I bring warm greetings from the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, His Excellency Mr. Mousa Faki Mahamat. He sends his best wishes for the success of this Mining Summit.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am sure you will all agree with me that the welcome and hospitality accorded to us by the people and Government of the Republic of Botswana since our arrival in this happy country are exemplary, greatly so.
We are in good hands.
We are being very well looked after.
We are simply among friends, brothers and sisters.
We thank you, the people and Government of the Republic of Botswana for your outstanding generosity.

Mr. Chairman;
Honourable Ministers;
Mining Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Africa Mining Summit has come of age and I am sure it will now grow with a dynamism of its own.
We, in this connection, congratulate GRV Global and other sponsors for creating an institution that will annually bring together: mining business leaders, investors, exhibitors/suppliers and representatives of governments to dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of the African mining sector.

Communication is key to developing mutual understanding and alignment of actions. The Africa Mining Summit will significantly facilitate this.

For us in the African Union Commission, this is the second year in a row that we have been partnering with GRV Global and other sponsors to convene this Mining Summit.

I am happy to announce that we will continue to do so.

As already stated, we see signs that the Africa Mining Summit is moving in the right direction.

Putting ourselves in the shoes of the mining industry private sector, we indeed see great scope in this summit mobilizing investments and providing solutions to the challenges facing the mining industry in Africa.

The presence of representatives of African governments is also an indicator that the Africa Mining Summit offers a platform where they can articulate their policies and investment plans, with certainty of being listened to by the mining industry market players.

Furthermore, we see our continued involvement in the Africa Mining Summit as a vehicle in mobilizing the private sector to implement the Africa Mining Vision adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in 2009.

The latest development in this direction is that from 5-7 October, 2017, the African Union Commission in partnership with the Government of the Republic of Namibia convened a symposium drawing the participation of the leadership of African regional Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations in Africa.

The symposium was a distinct success as it came out with three key deliverables.

The first one was endorsement of the Private Sector Compact of the Africa Mining Vision, with added commitment to submit it to the regional leadership for full adoption. I will say more about the Private Sector Compact later.

The second key outcome of the Windhoek symposium was agreement to create the Association of Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations in Africa (ACMMAA). The third one was establishment of an Interim Executive Committee of ACMMAA to oversee full implementation of agreed outcomes, including holding of the inaugural general assembly within a year. Deriving from this, there was also agreement in the establishment of regional chambers of mines in north and central Africa as well as national chambers of mines in African countries where they do not exist.

The Association of African Women in Mining is represented in the ACMMAA Interim Executive Committee. This will ensure that national chapters of the Association of African Women In Mining are also established in African countries where they do not exist.

These outcomes are contained in the Windhoek Declaration, copies of which we will be happy to circulate to participants in this summit.

Mr. Chairman;
Honourable Ministers;
Mining Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

The agreements reached in Windhoek fully responded to the decision of African Ministers Responsible for Mining made in Maputo in December 2013 which urged the African Union Commission to broaden partnerships, including the private sector in the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision.

The Africa Mining Vision is a blue print for inclusive and sustainable development of the African mineral resources sector to underpin broad-based sustainable development and structural transformation of African economies. It is also a key lever of the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 adopted by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in 2015, to create, by 2063, an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.

Mr. Chairman;
Honourable Ministers;
Mining Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

As earlier indicated, allow me at this stage to say a little more about the Private Sector Compact and in so doing, also say something about the Africa Minerals Governance Framework.

The Private Sector Compact is a tool to facilitate public-private dialogue and partnerships in mining in order to build mutual trust and reduce uncertainty and risk in mining.

It is also meant to assist African Union Member States to attract investments that would ensure sustainable exploitation of the mineral resources for present and future generations.

Related to this is the Africa Minerals Governance Framework (AMGF), jointly developed by the African Union Commission and the African Minerals Development Centre.

This is an instrument designed to monitor the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision in order to ensure that the exploitation of minerals in Africa contribute optimally to national, regional and continental goals of sustainable development, including resolution of the major problem of illicit financial flows from Africa, estimated at about US$50 billion annually, a major part of which comes from mining.

Before I end this section, I would like to share with you what I read sometime back in the July-August 2017 issue of the Harvard Business Review.

It was an article on globalization and its position in the emerging world order.

In a section on business and society, the author, of the article, Pankaj Ghemawat reports results of a survey in the United States of America on how much people in ten occupations contributed to the well-being of society. The results showed that, and I quote: ‘business executives ranked next to last, ahead of only the lawyers’.

Business executives are number two from the bottom.

This is a tough message.

The only consolation is that the Harvard Business Review has, since inception, been a friend of business. I, therefore, see this as a message of counsel, not criticism. And the counsel is that for business to be sustainable, its core purpose must align to the goals and expectations of society.

I believe this applies universally.

Therefore, I am sure we all agree that this is good counsel coming from the Harvard Business Review.

Honourable Ministers;
Mining Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

With the establishment of the Association of Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations in Africa, the mining private sector will now be better placed to participate more effectively in the development of regional value chains in the Continental Free Trade Area, whose legal instrument for its establishment, is under negotiation.

Under regional value chain development in the Continental Free Trade Area, minerals would be mined in one country; processed in another and refined in yet another country in Africa, thereby stimulating intra-African trade in intermediate and final goods. In this scheme of things, the Continental Free Trade Area will significantly contribute to the structural transformation and competitiveness of African economies, giving them greater capacity to promote high and inclusive growth.

Let me stress that there are a number of other opportunities for high yielding investments along regional value chains. These are in the complementary sectors of energy, physical infrastructure and logistics; among others.

We plan to conclude negotiation of a Draft Agreement Establishing the Continental Free Trade Area by December this year.

When established, the Continental Free Trade Area will create an integrated market of 1.2 billion people supported by an aggregate economy of about US$3.4 trillion, a Pan-African payments system and integrated transport and communications network.

Investors, suppliers and existing businesses will all greatly benefit from this large market in terms of localization, aggregation and arbitrage.

Against this background, I would like to suggest that the African Union Commission is placed among the speakers in the 2018 agenda of the Africa Mining Summit to enable us provide you with a full and up-to-date brief on the progress being made in the establishment of the Continental Free Trade Area and the concrete opportunities that it offers to market players in the African mining and related sectors.

Mr. Chairman;
Honourable Ministers;
Mining Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

I have underlined why the Africa Mining Summit process is increasingly becoming very important to the African Union.

I am sure all of you in this hall feel that way as well.

In this connection, I call on all of you to use this platform in working with us in finding solutions to challenges in the development of the African mining sector.

Again, I come back to my earlier message that mining must benefit all stakeholders.

I broadly define these as communities and countries where mining activities are taking place as well as mining houses.

The most important and invisible stakeholder are future generations of Africans who also have a claim to benefit from this natural heritage.

We exploit mineral resources not just for our own benefit but that of succeeding generations as well.

Mr. Chairman;
Honourable Ministers;
Summit Participants;
Ladies and Gentlemen:

As I conclude, let us all recall that business is being challenged to ensure that its purpose is aligned to societal goals and expectations.
In the particular case of the Africa Mining Summit, I am sure business houses, investors, exhibitors/suppliers see it as useful platform aligning their goals.

You are so far moving in the right direction. Keep it that way.

As for us in the African Union Commission, we are here to request business to internalize the Africa Mining Vision, its Private Sector Compact and the related Africa Minerals Governance Framework.

I hope we are not asking too much. And it should not be taken as resource nationalism.

We await business to respond positively through the just established Association of Chambers of Mines and other Mining Associations in Africa.

Let me end by wishing you fruitful deliberations over the next two days.

I look forward to receiving the outcome documents when I come back at the closing ceremony.

I thank you all for your kind attention.

AUC Commissioners: