Guinea will host the headquarters of the African Minerals Development Center (AMDC). This is an outcome of the 31st Summit of the Heads of States and Governments of the African Union (AU) held in Mauritania, from 25 June to 2 July. Created in 2013, AMDC is the African Union’s specialized institution that implements the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), developed in 2009 for “a transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development” by 2050.
The AMV’s Action Plan adopted in 2011 includes nine programs aimed at, among other tasks, mapping African mineral resources, harmonizing mining regimes and contracts by systematically incorporating provisions on corporate social responsibility and community development, developing infrastructures, establishing “centers of excellence” for knowledge production and capacity building, fostering a sustainable artisanal and small scale mining, and promoting economic diversification.
Since 2013, the AMDC has produced several publications, supervised the establishment of country-level mining visions in 13 countries in East, Central and Western Africa, facilitated the AMV Private Sector Compact, established an AMV Civil Society Forum, and initiated an African Minerals Governance Framework (AMGF). AMDC plans to become “a Centre of Excellence and the facilitator of choice to enable AU Member States to realize the Africa Mining Vision.” Its facilitation role is indeed likely to expand in the coming years with the AU’s ongoing Agenda 2063, especially the emerging continental integration tools like the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which is intended to speed the development of regional value chains envisioned by the AMV. In partnership with the AU Commission, we at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) have been actively supporting the African Mining Legislation Atlas, an online platform of all African countries’ mining laws that allows users to compare provisions across different country laws, and the “guiding template,” an aid for drafting mining laws.
Among the international instruments the AMDC refers to is NRGI’s Natural Resource Charter, a set of principles on how to best harness opportunities created by extractive resources for development. NRGI works with governments and civil society organizations in five priority countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Guinea. With its experience around the world, NRGI will continue to provide AMDC and other African institutions with technical expertise to engage the mining sector to improve the wellbeing of people living in Africa.
Hervé Lado is the Guinea country manager for the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI).