Africa's Mineral Sector Requires Urgent, Homegrown Skills Development

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Maputo — As Africa's minerals sector continues to grow in leaps and bounds, there is a dire need to match this growth with essential skills that meet the demands of the industry, according to Treasure Maphanga, Director of Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission.

Speaking at a roundtable with leading partners in skills development during the 3rd African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development in Maputo, Mozambique, Ms. Maphanga underscored the importance of skills development, noting that human and institutional capacities are part of the Africa Mining Vision's action plan.

She also stressed that mining skills have traditionally been defined in a narrow manner; and yet the skills needed to implement the Africa Mining Vision require a homegrown approach and go beyond engineering and geology.

Thus, said Ms. Maphanga, the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) will require partnership and coordination of efforts in the development of additional skills including, "technical skills, human rights, law, trade, community affairs, strategic planning." The Roundtable underscored that the sustainable management of Africa's abundant natural resources provides African countries the opportunity to drive transformative development.

However, as the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) notes, institutions supporting mineral development in Africa are generally weak and are often not suited to meeting the AMV's objectives of broad-based, sustainable and equitable development. These gaps are found in government departments as well as in the trades needed to sustainably grow the minerals and related sectors.

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