Africa has been open for investments for a while and mining in Africa has been going on for centuries but Africa’s openness has led to vulnerability resulting into capital and illicit financial flows which lead to Africa losing in excess of US$100billiuon annually.
This was revealed by Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry at the African Union Commission when giving key note address at the Africa Mining Summit held in Gaborone this week. The summit was hosted by GRV Global, an event management company in partnership with the African Union Commission Department of Trade and Industry and the Government of Botswana.
Held under the theme, “The Advancement of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) through technologies”, the event engaged on key matters affecting the lucrative mining industry which is the backbone of many African economies. It focused on key discussions such as how new explorations and junior mining companies can leverage on technology and innovation to better benefit from the mineral value chains.
However it emerged that in Africa developing its mining industries billions of dollars continue to fly of its boarders “Our openness has led to vulnerability resulting into capital and illicit financial flows stating that Africa loses a lot of money that could otherwise be used for the betterment of the lives of its citizens. It is our duty to put an end the illicit financial flows,” said Commissioner Muchanga.
He further said Africa has been having weak regulatory frameworks and poor compliance enforcement mechanisms for the lucrative mining sector which is worth trillions. Muchanga shared that the Africa Mining Summit was happening at a critical time when the African Union Assembly adopted and launched the most ambitious and biggest Free Trade Area in the world, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He emphasized that the establishment of the AfCFTA will bring concrete opportunities to market players in the African mining and related sectors as it will create an integrated market of 1.2 billion people supported by an aggregate economy of about US$3.4 trillion. The AU representative underscored the key role that can be played by the mineral resources in the social and economic structural transformation of Africa to lead into win-win situation and inclusive growth.
“We all know how the sector can create skilled and decent and non-skilled employment for the young people and wealth for countries”. Muchanga also pointed out that African Union Commission sees great scope in the summit mobilizing investments and providing solutions to the challenges facing the mining industry in Africa.
“Africa Mining Summit is as a vehicle in mobilizing the Private Sector to implement the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). We need to see value addition and downstream beneficiation taking place in our countries. We need to see upstream beneficiation along global and regional minerals supply and value chains”, he said.
Giving welcome remarks at the fully attended event staged at Gaborone Avani Hotel, Mr. Andrew Dowel, CEO of GRV Global, expressed his gratitude to the African Union Commission for the partnership and for steadfastly supporting GRV Globe’s efforts in producing the Africa Mining Summit.
He pointed out that mining companies operate in complex geographies where they face increasing challenges in responding to regulatory and compliance requirements. He emphasized the fact that mining companies are also required to adapt to changing market conditions while adopting new innovations as they seek to produce more for less cost.
Dowel said the Africa Mining Vision seeks to actively promote the integration of Africa’s mining sector into national economic and social activities. “We need to think outside the box in order to maximize the continent’s resources wealth”. Officially opening the summit Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Eric Molale said Botswana was a preferred destination for investments that take the rule of law seriously and had robust financial regulatory oversight bodies.
“All our mineral resources are exploited for the benefit of our citizens. It is a win-win situation that encourages Foreign Direct Investment,” he stated. Molale underlined that Botswana has put in place the ease of doing business reforms which he said reduce bureaucracy and avoid corruption. “This enables investors to do business without fear and encourage growth,” he said.
Molale submitted that Africa must be determined to ensuring future export of fully beneficiated mineral resources onto world seaborne markets but admitted that this will continue to depend largely on the logistical infrastructure establishment through international and local investment in the continent. He stressed on the need to have Regional Value Chains giving an example of Botswana which is a Diamond processing Hub for the region not only for Botswana.
The Africa Mining Summit 2018 was attended by High Level Political Authorities from across Africa including the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources of Sierra Leone, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources of Ghana, the Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe and the Permanent Secretariat of National Minerals Commission of the Ministry of Mines and Quarries of Burkina Faso.
The Summit comprises of a two-day conference which includes, Keynote presentations and panel discussions on all aspects related to the Continent’s ongoing mining and minerals efforts. The Event brings together suppliers around the world who are looking to sell to the mining corporates, mining corporates who seek investment, investors who want to strike deals and African Government Ministers and Private Sector who engage all groups to discuss new opportunities in their respective countries and Africa as a whole.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.