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African Governments Must Boost Investment In Local Mining   
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African Governments must shift from being mere regulators to promoters of investments in the mining sector to promote growth and boost local participation.

They must also make deliberate efforts to support indigenous businesses to take advantage of the opportunities that the linkages and diversification provide in the mineral extraction sector.

These demands were contained in a press release issued by participants, who attended the African-wide civil society conference to improve and deepen their knowledge on the African Mining Vision (AMV).

The four-day conference, held between June 26-June 29, and hosted by Third World Network, was to make input and contributions to the business plan of the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), the coordination body for the implementation of decisions towards the realisation of the Mining Vision.

Fifty participants drawn from representatives of African civil society networks, coalitions and social constituencies from labour movements, mining affected groups, artisanal and small scale mining organisations, policy officials and gender groups attended the meeting.

Abu Brima, Executive Director of Network Movement for Justice and Development said the meeting discussed a range of issues including, managing and protecting community rights, livelihoods and the environment, artisanal small scale mining, fiscal policies among others.

He said the participants were of the view that the AMV should be the key driver of all industrial policies in African countries and all political leaders should commit to its implementation.

There was the need for linkages within the mining sector and across all sectors of national economies, Mr. Brima said, adding that, linkages and diversification was necessary for job creation and the overall development of the continent.

In this direction, the meeting called for the formulation and implementation of public policy on artisanal and small scale mining in order for it to play a central role in the transformative process, he said.

The meeting identified that various agreements; multilateral and bilateral that African countries have either signed or contemplating signing, could pose a threat to the reform agenda especially the Economic Partnership Agreement.

The mining vision formulated by African nations puts the continent's long term and broad development objectives at the heart of all policy making concerned with mineral extraction.

It was adopted by Heads of State at the February 2009 AU summit, following the October 2008 meeting of African Ministers responsible for Mineral Resources Development. The AMV sets out how mining can be used to drive continental development.
Source: GNA

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