UNECA mulls harmonisation of natural resources, mines policies in W ‘Africa

UNECA-logo1-300x266To aid the realisation of African Mining Vision (AMV), especially in the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) region, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has mulled plans to harmonise policies in the sub-region to aid the management of mines and natural resources.

According to UNECA, a proposed meeting between experts of the ministries in charge of mines and natural resources of the Member states of the ECOWAS, country-level officials of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), mining experts of the ECOWAS and WAEMU Commissions, as well as experts from other structures of the United Nations and international development institutions working in the field of natural resources in West Africa, will examine the issue.

Specifically, the meeting will discuss the problem of the effective consideration of the African Mining Vision (AMV), the Directives of the ECOWAS and the EITI Standards and Principles in the main policies, laws and regulations on mining in the ECOWAS countries.

“The participants will work broadly on the major constraints and challenges which prevent African countries from reaching complete consideration of the principles of these three regional instruments and will unquestionably increase the opportunities for capacity strengthening and the possibilities for investment to improve the local appropriation of these regional and sub-regional standards, directives and visions.

“Similarly, they will adopt relevant recommendations on the measures necessary to accelerate the effective implementation of the African Mining Vision (AMV), the ECOWAS Directives and the EITI Standards and Principles, which could constitute a landmark for the High-level Dialogue on Harmonized Policies for Natural Resource Management in the ECOWAS zone.

“It should be remembered that the adoption of these three guiding instruments (the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) launched officially in London in 2003, the African Mining Vision adopted by the Conference of African Ministers of Mining in October 2008 and approved by the African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in February 2009 and the Directive C/DIR.3/5/09 on the harmonization of guiding principles and policies for the mining sector of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) adopted in July 2009) aims at rectify the major imbalances between foreign companies and States in the allocation of revenues from the exploitation of natural resources in Africa”, a statement from UNECA read in part.

The meeting for the high-level dialogue on harmonized policies for Natural Resource Management in West Africa, organized by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) through its Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, based in Niamey, will be held on October 6 – 7, 2015 in Dakar at the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP).

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