Zambia: 'Minerals Must Benefit Africans'

Maputo — THE third African Union (AU) conference of ministers responsible for mineral resource development started here today with a call to AU member States and partners to remain focused on implementing the ideals of the African Mining Vision (AMV).

This is to ensure wealth creation and poverty eradication for Africans.

The conference has become the premier forum for African ministers responsible for mineral resources to address issues related to the development of the mineral resources on the continent.

This year's session is being held under the theme 'Leveraging the Africa Mining Vision for Africa's renaissance towards broader ownership'.

Opening the meeting of senior officials, that precedes the main meeting of ministers, AU director of the department of trade and industry, Treasure Maphanga said despite Africa being a repository of rich mineral wealth, the resources still did not fully benefit its people.

Ms Maphanga said various minerals made up the majority of exports for most African countries but that most were still vulnerable to poor terms of trade.

She said Africa contributed a huge percentage of the world's major minerals, with recent records showing 50 per cent of the global diamond exports originating from Africa.

She noted that 40 per cent of gold, 19 per cent of uranium and about 12 per cent of the oil world exports all came from the continent.

She said it was why the AMV stressed the need for value addition to various minerals through various forward and backward linkages that promote involvement of various stakeholders.

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa special initiatives division officer-in-charge Fatima Denton said for the AMV goals to be realised, the vision should be domesticated at regional and national level.

Ms Denton said at national level, it required multi-stakeholder participation that included communities.

Zambia will be represented at the meeting by Mines Minister Christopher Yaluma while the civil society is being represented by the Citizens for a Better Environment.

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