Stakeholders urge govt to tap into AMV

Source: miningzimbabwe.com

STAKEHOLDERS pushing for sustainable and well-governed mining have implored the government to tap into the African Mining Vision (AMV) that seeks to grow economies through the extractive sector.

AMV was agreed upon by Africa Heads of State in 2009 with a vision of insuring “Transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development”.
AMV is also a pathway that puts the continent’s long-term and broad development objectives at the heart of all policy-making concerned with mineral extraction and it sets out how mining can be used to drive continental development.

This came after the realisation that despite rich mineral deposits, many African economies remained in dire straits either through mismanagement of mineral proceeds, or failing to use the mineral deposits to their own advantage.

In separate interviews on the side-lines of the annual Zimbabwe Alternative Mining indaba convened by the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela), Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development and Zimbabwe Council of Churches, stakeholders said as the country tried to amend the Mines Act, the government should also look into prospects of borrowing from AMV.

For long, the mining sector in Zimbabwe has been in shambles with the government failing to get meaningful revenues out of the country’s rich minerals.

“One of the strengths of the AMV is that, it tries to bring back local ownership of resources and it’s looking at capacitating Africa from the point of extraction to the point of beneficiation,” Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) executive director Mary Jane Ncube said.

“For decades, Africa has been crying over beneficiation capacity; that we are selling raw materials and those materials are developed somewhere else and sent back to us as products whose prices we cannot afford when we are the major sources of the raw materials.”

Ncube added: “It goes so far as developing capacities from financial management to scientific innovations and it therefore means that if Zimbabwe becomes part of that vision, it is translated into possible provisions into our laws. We can transform our mining industry across the value chain from the mining companies themselves, internal and external investors. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel when our aspirations are already captured in the AMV.”
Zela director Mutuso Dhliwayo said Zimbabwe had an opportunity to tap into AMV and try to make the mining sector more beneficial to the country.

“The problem we have is that we were just focusing on mining without linking it to that transformative thinking that it should contribute towards development. Under the AMV, it’s no longer about mining but how the whole sector contributes to the overall economy and other sectors such as agriculture or manufacturing,” he said.
“This is very transformative compared to those other policies, especially those which we were advised by the World Bank that the role of the government must be on creating an enabling environment and just collecting taxes. The African mining vision is a game-changer?”

Dhliwayo added: “The AMV is very clear in that the fact that you have resources only represents what we call a comparative advantage but how do you turn that advantage into a competitive advantage.”

Head of policy in charge of Tax and Extractives at Tax Justice Network-Africa (TJN-A), Kwesi Obeng said it was important that countries like Zimbabwe domesticated the vision which had the capacity to monitor and find ways of developing the economy post mining.

“This is a home-grown vision adopted in 2009 by African leaders and the good thing about AMV is that unlike other externally-driven initiatives governing our mining sector in Africa this one is home-grown and it looks at the entire mining chain.

“Some of the external initiatives just look at transparency, but this looks at the entire value chain and according to this one, we could use the mineral sector to underpin the structural transformation of African economies, which is critical because without the structural transformation, there is very little progress that we can make in terms of benefits,” he said.

The vision has nine key clusters which includes geology and the fiscal regime and revenue management, environmental artisanal mining, among others.

He added: “The AMV looks at not just mining but goes further to development, which transcends beyond mining. It looks at how we develop our economies. We use minerals to underpin development of our countries and also how we transform from simply mining to actually moving into a proper industrial phase and manufacturing sector because that is how we can improve the standards of living for people on our continent.”

The vision calls for a mining sector that can become a key component of a diversified, vibrant and globally competitive industrialising African economy, a sector that has helped establish a competitive African infrastructure platform, through the maximisation of its propulsive local and regional economic linkages.

It also looks at a mining sector that harnesses the potential of artisanal and small-scale mining to stimulate local/national entrepreneurship, improve livelihoods and advance integrated rural social and economic development and a sector that is a major player in vibrant and competitive national, continental and international capital and commodity markets. Source: THE STANDARD

 

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