Despite the long history of mining in Africa, the continent is yet to fully optimize the potential of mineral resources to catalyze economic transformation.
It is in an effort to encourage local stakeholders in Africaâ€™s mining sector to pursue this objective that Third World Network (TWN), in collaboration with the African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society (AIMES) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Africa, will host an African civil society networks conference in Accra from June 26-29, 2012.
Yao Graham, Executive Director of TWN, addressing the media Wednesday in Accra, said the meeting will facilitate as well as deepen understanding of the processes and substantive content of the reform agenda, especially in relation to the AMV, its action plan and the ISG Report.
According to him, since the late 1980s, governments in Africa have undertaken series of reforms aimed at optimizing contribution to national economic development of mineral-producing and exporting countries which have aided the revival of foreign investment in Africaâ€™s mining sector.
â€śWhile the revival of foreign investment has expanded mineral production and exports, its contribution to social and economic development objectives has been far less certain and has even been contested in many countries across the continent.
â€śAt the peak of the expansion in global demand and rise in the price of various minerals and metals before the onset of global financial crisis in 2008, mineral producing and exporting countries found themselves with disproportionately marginal revenues compared with earnings of mining companies,â€ť Dr Graham outlined.
The conference is expected to conclude with the adoption of a common position for advocacy on the reform agenda as well as a set of recommendations for improving the effective functioning and business plan of the Africa Minerals Development Centre.
By Samuel Boadi