Mining Indaba - Cape Town, South Africa. 9 February, 2016
The Mining Industry Association of Southern Africa (MIASA), held its meeting on 6 February, 2016 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. MIASA is an association of Chambers of mines in the SADC Region and members are drawn from the Chambers of mines of Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
At this meeting, MIASA and the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) held consultations on the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) in general, and the proposed AMV Compact in particular. The AMDC had circulated the draft AMV Compact for comments in December, 2015.
MIASA has been following the AMV implementation process through the AMV Day events at the Ministerial Symposiums during Mining Indaba in the last four years. Some MIASA members have also participated at AMV implementation workshops in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. MIASA fully understands and supports the African Mining Vision as the vehicle for unlocking the full potential of mining in Africa to advance socio-economic development and fight poverty. In the same vein, MIASA supports the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Road Map which was adopted in April 2016 by SADC Heads of State and Government. The Strategy is in line with the AMV in calling for greater value addition and beneficiation to mineral resources and the integration of the extractive industry with other sectors of the economy via upstream, downstream and sidestream linkages. MIASA is concerned at the paradox of Africa, -- being persistent poverty and underdevelopment in the midst of abundant natural resource endowment, almost 60 years since the first African country attained political independence.
MIASA wishes to express unwavering support for the implementation of the AMV and notes that the principles contained in the AMV Compact are designed for individual companies of the Chambers and the respective AU member States. Some MIASA members have expressed concern that the Compact may fail to facilitate the smooth implementation of the Mining Vision on account of non-compliant Governments and irresponsible companies who are the problem in the first place. In this regard, MIASA stands to work together with AU/AMDC to address such concerns. Other MIASA members have expressed the opinion on the principles as reasonable commitments subject to some clarifications; some have called for further scrutiny and refinement. MIASA views the Compact as a living document and undertakes to continue refining the principles as further feedback is received from its members. MIASA is encouraged to note that the basis of the Compact is voluntary and not adding to the cost of doing business – so as not deter or scare the private sector from entering into individual Compacts. This is welcome position, particularly when the extractive industry is in survival mode during this downturn.
Furthermore, MIASA sought legal opinion from a Corporate Legal Counsel of a major mining house who advised that the "AMVC Compact should be implemented on a voluntary basis, the same as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is not binding on any state but yet forms the basis upon which states base their constitutions. This is adopted by the States voluntarily and the same may be made applicable here. Companies have also adopted the Universal Declaration of human rights voluntarily and apply it."
MIASA welcomes the recognition of the role of the private sector in the implementation of the AMV. MIASA therefore reaffirms that its role will be to mobilise its members and actively participate in the migration of the Africa Mining Vision into Country Mining Visions (CMV). This will entail collaborative cooperation between MIASA members, Chamber members and respective SADC countries in the revision of mineral policies and regulatory frameworks at country level and even regional levels. This is the unwavering commitment and support that MIASA has made to the AU/AMDC.
MIASA is encouraged that the AU has taken a position to champion the formation of as an Africa wide network of Chambers of Mines. However, MIASA believes that such a noble ideal can only be realised if more Chambers of mines and mining associations could be established. In this respect MIASA implores the AU to encourage mineral resource-rich African countries to promote the establishment of Chambers of Mines which in turn would form regional building blocks for regional associations of Chambers of Mines such as MIASA. Such regional building blocks could form the basis of an Africa wide network of Chambers of Mines to offer the much needed link with AUC/AMDC in the implementation of the AMV.
President of MIASA & CEO, Chamber of Mines of the DRC.
9 February, 2016.