Addressing the Conference, the President H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni mentioned that although the Government has established an Exploration Department within the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the Private Sector was welcome to partner with the Government in the exploration. He emphasized that Uganda was only interested in value addition. He gave example of the iron ore deposits which have a quality content of up to 99% or steel and as such exporting it in raw would be exporting a lot of jobs. Ugandan President, who was attending the Conference as the Guest of Honour, also welcomed the Partnership Public Private in the Minerals Sector. He highlighted the importance of the Minerals Sector, which he said, contributes a lot to the growth of African economies. He hailed the African Union Commission for constantly engaging the Private Sector in its Mineral Resource Development Policies.
In his keynote speech on behalf of H.E. Mrs. Fatima Haram Acyl, the Commissioner for Trade and Industry, Mr. Frank Mugyenyi, Senior Industry Advisor for the Department of Trade and Industry of the AUC, observed that the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) which is a forward-looking African Union framework for mineral resource development, seeks to create a transparent, equitable, and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and social-economic development. He explained that the vision is motivated by the widely recognized need to unleash the broader value of the minerals sector beyond just mining and beyond just taxing and collecting rents to one that leads and contributes to the broader vision of industrialization and structural transformation of African economies. According to the Senior Industry Advisor, a global Strategy to optimally use Africa’s resources that benefit all Africans is urgently needed for Africa. “Africa cannot afford to have it wrong this time around, there is no room for error and this can only be achieved through broadening partnerships and bringing the private sector on board in policy planning and implementation”, he stressed.
He recalled all the mineral resources related decisions made by the AU Heads of State and Governments and highlighted the progress made by the Commission in implementing these decisions. Mr. Mugyenyi furthermore underscored the fact that Africa has a clear sight of where it is going and urged participants to re-focus on how to achieve the aspirations of the African people expressed in agenda 2063 and Common African Position on Agenda 2063. “This enquires collective and concerted efforts of everybody involved in the Minerals sector development. The private sector, the public sector, the academia, the media, the civil society and other non-state actors, women, youth and indeed everyone involved in the minerals resource development” he emphasized.
Distributed by APO on behalf of African Union Commission (AUC).