Africa Brief

The future of mining in Africa

Africa is the world’s most mineral-rich continent and consequently has the potential to become a mining mecca. There are large deposits of coal, diamonds, gold, uranium, platinum, iron, rock salt, potash, and more. Mining companies are also attracted to Africa by the relatively low cost of labour and relaxed regulatory frameworks. With many African countries (such as the DRC, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Angola) topping the lists of the world’s fastest emerging economies – and this in large measure because of their known mineral wealth – and still others (such as South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Botswana) showing notable signs of business development and stability, the future of mining in the region looks to be assured, provided issues of security, corruption and supply chains can be well managed and ultimately resolved.

Infrastructure development

One of the keys to safeguarding as well as expanding Africa’s mining economy into the future is the development of modern, extensive and reliable infrastructure, as this will ensure efficient and competitively priced production rates and supply chains.

Ambitious and forward-looking projects are underway across the continent, from the building of rail lines to link landlocked countries and interior mining sites with key port cities and alleviate pressure on road systems to the development of numerous transnational highways that will streamline transport and trade and so develop national and regional markets. Notable road projects include the Trans-Maghreb Highway and ECOWAS’s Lagos-Abidjan Highway, while two of the most strategic rail lines are the Trans-Kalahari Railway and Mombasa-Kigali Rail Project.

Another positive development is the construction of world-class dams and power projects, such as the Grand Inga Dam in the DRC and Kenya’s Late Turkana Wind Power Project. At present however the supply of electricity in many countries from South Africa to the DRC to Ghana is irregular, in short supply, and expensive, hampering economies in general and the development of mining activities in specific.

Africa’s “4th generation” of mining regulations

The extractive sector in Africa has undergone what mining industry expert Bonnie Campbell dubbed “three generations” of liberalisation since the 1980s. We are now arguably entering a fourth generation, this one characterised by a preoccupation with transparency and accountability on the part of governments, mining companies and other stakeholders. With a troublesome legacy of fraud and corruption in Africa, this trend is both understandable and much needed.

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, among others, have been offering African nations help in developing mining laws that will prove investor friendly and also help to ensure operating transparency, which is necessary for protecting the rights and interests of local communities and minorities.

The primacy of environmental concerns in today’s society, especially around newly controversial mining practices such as fracking, necessitates that legislators, investors and environmentalists find common ground so as to lay a stable and sustainable framework for future developments.

2014 Africa Mining Indaba

The annual Investing in African Mining Indaba™ is organised by Mining Indaba LLC. For more than 19 years, the Investing in African Mining Indaba in collaboration with its partners in South Africa and the African continent, have channelled billions of dollars into the African mining value chain. The Investing in African Mining Indaba is the world’s largest mining investment conference, the world’s third largest mining conference, and Africa’s largest mining event.

To get more facts on this event, please follow the link to 2014 Mining Indaba event page.

About Femi Oke

Relentless passion for creativity and digital acumen to help a professional services firm thrive in the digital space. Femi is an individual with a rich experience on regional African knowledge, its diverse business culture and he understands the continent’s economic drive. He thrives on selfless service and lasting mutually beneficial relationships with colleagues and especially clients encountered in the course of his duties. He is creative, practical and self-motivated with business judgement in corporate, brand and strategic communications, social, digital & traditional media and executive profiling. Roles in the firm include New Media, Digital Communication, Corporate Communication, executive profiling and Brand Management execution. Working on the multi-million dollar Africa high growth market project stands out for femi; besides this, managing all KPMG’s digital communication for the World Economic Forum on Africa is another project that gives him great delight. Femi holds a Masters Degree in Global Marketing from the University of Liverpool.

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