The Ministry of Mines and Energy has just embarked on the long-outstanding review of the national Minerals Policy to align this policy document with the developmental objectives of the African Mining Vision, adopted in 2009 by the African Union at its Heads of Governments summit.
Speaking at a symposium organised by the Namibian Chamber of Mines, the Minister of Mines and Energy, Hon Obeth Kandjoze, said the private sector is seen as a key partner and should come on board realise optimal benefits for each country from the extractive industry. The symposium brought together officials from various African mining chambers and other mining associations.
Mining forms the backbone of the Namibian economy, contributing 12% annually to Gross Domestic Product and bringing in more than half of Namibia's foreign exchange earnings. The sector is a major employer with a strong multiplier effect on local procurement of both goods and services to mining operators, the minister said adding that mining is seen as a significant employment creator which serves the government ultimate goal of poverty elimination.
The minister referred to the links between the African Union's mining vision for Africa, noting that it can not be achieved without the private sector as critical partner at country level. Emphasising the government's strong relationship with the mining industry, he said the Ministry of Mines and Energy has strong relations with the private sector through the Chamber of Mines.
Extending an invitation to the private sector for participation in the development of more mines and in the beneficiation of minerals, the minister lauded the chamber's initiative, saying "This symposium is ideal for the private sector to commit itself to assisting governments to realise social economic developments of AU member states. This calls for both governments and mining companies to be working together, build trust and pull in the same direction."
"Namibia is humbled to be accorded the honour of hosting this symposium and is ready to work with the rest of Africa to realise the full benefits of mineral endowment" Kandjoze stated.
In addition to African mining chambers' representatives, the symposium was attended by African Union trade officials and members of the African Minerals Development Centre in Addis Ababa.