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Johannesburg :

Mining policy framework key for Africa: Sonjica

Business Report | 2008

Johannesburg - Minister of Minerals and Energy Buyelwa Sonjica has called for the harmonisation of Africa's mining policies to be expedited. Sonjica, speaking at the fourth Mid-Term Review of the African Mining Partnership (AMP) Ministerial Meeting in Ghana last week, said this would give Africa a competitive advantage. "We must speed up the process of harmonising African mining policy framework as it would allow Africa to arrive at its comparative advantage, which would eventually lead to competitive advantage with or beneficiation intervention," she was quoted by Ghana News Agency as saying. She noted that such a collaborative effort would provide the input materials required for value added products intended for consumption in Africa and elsewhere. "It is evident that the value addition of our respective commodities presents opportunities for demand and markets, particularly for artisanal and small-scale mining on the continent," Sonjica said. Attending the AMP review meeting were mining ministers from Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Egypt as well as representatives from Democratic Republic of Congo and Mali. Sonjica said it was essential to consider beneficiation of energy commodities in order to generate adequate supply of energy that would underpin the envisaged growth in Africa's mining sector. "Other projects of AMP that seem non-core such as the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) should not be left unattended, as already prescribed by the European Commission's legislation." She said a combination of strategies such as lobbying and identification of projects was needed to ensure Africa's success. She said if mining initiatives introduced to Africa by others such as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the Extract Industries Transparency Initiative and others have made significant progress, the scope of AMP affords the continent a unique opportunity to achieve more. The next plenary session on AMP would take place in Cape Town next year.

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