The African Union Commission (AUC) launched the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) Compact during a high level dialogue session with the Private Sector Leaders, in the margins of the 1st Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mining and Petroleum Forum and Exhibition (ECOMOF) on 8 October 2015. The main objective of the AMV Compact that will be developed and concluded in due course between the Private Sector investing in the Mining Sector and AU Member States, is to ensure that the Private Sector operates in a manner that is in line with the Africa Mining Vision that was endorsed by the AU Heads of State and Governments in 2009.
The AMV compact will create a business environment that will be mutually transparent and accountable in order to ensure optimal benefits from the sector accruing to both the governments and the private sector. It should be noted that according to the Thabo Mbeki Report, Africa is losing to the tune of US$50 billion per year through Illicit Financial Flows and majority of this close to 70% is through various malpractices of the Multi-National Companies in the extractive sector. The AMV Compact process is intended to have a meaningful and frank discussions, to highlight the need for collaborative partnerships and continuous dialogue; to seek new and home grown models of doing business, going forward.
In her opening remarks, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry of the African Union Commission, H.E. Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl, highlighted the fact that the extractives sector is characterized by complex relationships and competing demands, rights, and claims from governments, local communities, civil society on one hand and private companies on the other. She emphasized that it has become essential to build a consensus on what constitutes ‘shared value’ and ‘shared benefits’ and how to secure a social license to operate in the 21st century. The Commissioner acknowledged that African governments have become more assertive in developing long term visions for mineral resources; to increase local content; move up the value chain; and increase inter-sectoral linkages between minerals and non-mineral sectors. “This emerging narrative of a ‘rising’ Africa is underscored by the adoption of several initiatives such as the African Union’s Agenda 2063; the Common African Position (CAP) on the post 2015 Development Agenda; and the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). The AMV emphasizes the transformative role that the mining sector plays in the delivery of development in Africa”, she pointed out.
To ensure successful implementation of the AMV, Commissioner Acyl proposed that an explicit agreement between AU member States and private sector leaders in the extractive industries is necessary. “This agreement is to be in the form of an AMV Compact between AU member States and private sector leaders in Africa, fashioned along the same lines of the UN Global Compact. The AMV Compact would draw a set of standards that would serve as a benchmark for companies and governments to assess performance, resulting in robust policies that cover a range of principles” she underscored.
For the dialogue with private sector leaders to be continuous and meaningful, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry indicated that it is crucial to establish an Africa wide network of Chambers of Mines and Mining Associations. “The establishment of such a network would enable an efficient consultation and dialogue process on mineral related issues in Africa between AU constituencies and private sector leaders in Africa” she added.
Before officially launching the AMV Compact, the Commissioner urged the participants to come up with a product that will shape the partnership with the private sector that will contribute to the realization of Africa’s vision as defined by the aspirations of the African people and that inform the Agenda 2063 and the Common African Position on post 2015 development Agenda.
Source: African Union Commission (AUC)