Experts from member countries of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) held a meeting on Monday in Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, to discuss strategies and approaches to ensure sustainable mining of critical minerals.
The experts from the 79 member countries are expected to develop recommendations for a win-win situation in the mining sector to be presented to ministers responsible for mining in their meeting in Cameroon during the first quarter of next year.
Paul Kabuswe, Zambia’s minister of mines and minerals development, said despite the OACPS countries, especially those in Africa, being endowed with abundant natural resources, the communities are not benefiting from the resources.
“We must work together as African countries to make sure that African resources begin to reflect in the lives of its people. As a continent, we have talked too much on potential and it is time we take actions so that natural resources benefit people,” he said.
According to him, there is a need for African countries to expedite the mapping, exploration and mining of critical minerals. He urged the meeting to introspect on the exploration and mineral value chains for countries to benefit from the mining sector and reap the socioeconomic benefits.
Naomi Ngwira, chairperson of the OACPS sub-Committee on Trade and Commodities, said countries should develop national and regional policies and support interventions to maximize benefits from the global digital green transition and advance sustainable development to reduce poverty.