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The African Union (AU) on Wednesday urged African countries and pan African institutions to realize the continental ambition on the utilization of Africa’s mining endowments as a key driver for structural transformation.

“It is ten years since African Heads of States adopted the African Union’s African Mining Vision (AMV). The vision recognizes the continent’s considerable mineral endowments as a key driver for structural transformation, industrialization and sustained growth,” the AU said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The 55-member pan African bloc, noting that “new uses are being found for hitherto low valued minerals,” also stressed that advancements in technology “are radically altering the methods of production and the products required, with implications for patterns of trade, such as renewable energy technologies and products and the unfolding shift from fossil fuel vehicles to electric vehicles.”

It also stressed that “greater knowledge of the continent’s minerals endowment are turning Africa’s traditional agricultural societies to mining economies overnight.”

According to the AU, rapid growth in mining and exploration across the continent “has brought the rights and treatment of impacted communities into sharp focus as contained in the AU’s flagship African Mining Vision (AMV), “but with new challenges and the need for nuanced win-win solutions.”

The AU made the call in line with the ongoing African Regional Mining Forum – a high-level continental forum being held under the theme “Africa Mining Vision at 10: Looking Back, Moving Forward.”

The forum, jointly organized by the AU Commission in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), UN Development Programme (UNDP), African Development Bank (AfDB), “will provide a platform to diverse stakeholders to discuss these emerging and recurrent policy issues. It will, in particular, focus on the future we want for the African mineral sector,” it was noted.

The high-level gathering is also expected to provide an opportunity for the AU Commission and the implementing partners of the AMV “to stir a reflective discussion about key achievements and milestones achieved by AMV, as a stepping stone towards ensuring the continent is equipped to tap opportunities for the future.”

The AU and its partners will also launch a regional platform on the margins of the forum, in which AU member countries, regional organizations and continental institutions are set to discuss issues of strategic importance for the mining sector in Africa, it was noted. Enditem

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