CONNEX Support Unit Partners with African Union Commission to Organize First Africa Forum on Mining

CONNEX Support Unit Partners with African Union Commission to Organize First Africa Forum on Mining

The African Union Commission (AUC) convened the first Africa Forum on Mining in Accra, Ghana, from November 13 to November 15 2019. The Forum was organized in strategic partnership with the CONNEX Support Unit as well as other organizations such as the UNDP, African Development Bank and International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).


Titled “Africa Mining Vision at 10: Looking Back, Moving Forward”, the Africa Forum on Mining provided a platform for stakeholders from African governments, Pan-African institutions, civil society, private sector and multilateral organizations to discuss issues of strategic importance for the mining sector in Africa.


In addressing the plenary session, Dr Olumide Abimbola of the CONNEX Support Unit secretariat highlighted the importance of well-prepared and well-executed negotiation process to achieving the African Mining vision (AMV). 

“Backward and forward linkages, beneficiation, and local content are just a few of AMV goals that, with the support of a support provider such as CONNEX, can be effectively negotiated with the investors,” he said.


CONNEX Panel at Africa Forum on Mining 2019: Natty B. Davis, Ibrahima Danso, Benjamin Ayree, Dr. Suzy Nikiema, Susan Maples, Herbert M’cleod

The CONNEX Support Unit also hosted a session titled “Advancing the AMV Agenda: The Role of Contract Negotiations”. Mr. Natty B. Davis, Co-Chair of the CONNEX Support Unit Advisory Committee, chaired the panel discussion. Panelists discussed, among other points, how governments could make sure that the promotion of broader development goals, as captured by the AMV, are not compromised.


Mr. Herbert M’cleod, Member of the CONNEX Advisory Committee, in his intervention on the panel, made the point that the AMV has made the job of the government negotiator even more important and crucial: “The AMV asks us to work towards capturing the whole value chain. This means that the negotiator is not just looking at maximizing revenue for the government, but also at how to get the investor to commit to further steps in the value chain.”


Other members of the panel are Ms. Susan Maples, Associate, Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP; Mr. Ibrahima Danso, West Africa Manager, Centamin PLC and Chairman, Chamber of Mines of Cote d’Ivoire; Dr. Suzy Nikiema, International Law Advisor, IISD; and Mr. Benjamin Aryee, Advisor to the Ghana Minister of Lands and Mineral Resources.    


The Africa Forum on Mining provided space for generating common positions on the management of mineral resources for sustainable development. Its results will feed into global and regional discussions on the sustainable management of mineral resources, as well as inform the African Mining Vision revision process.


The CONNEX Support Unit is an innovative development initiative that provides support to governments of partner countries in negotiating complex investment agreements, initially in the extractive sector.