Upcoming Africa-wide Cross Networks Meeting on the African Mining Vision (AMV)
The Pan-African extractive sector network AIMES (African Initiative on Mining, Environment and Society) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) Africa are jointly organizing a meeting of Africa-wide cross networks/constituencies on the Africa Mining Vision (AMV). The meeting is being hosted by the Third World Network – Africa (TWN-Af), with support from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) from June 26th to 29th, 2012 at Mensvic Grand Hotel, East Legon, Accra, Ghana.
From February 2007 to December 2011 the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA) and the Africa Union (AU) led a process of reforming the mining regimes operating in Africa. This follows recognition of the marginal developmental impacts and the preponderant negative environmental and social impacts in the over twenty years of mining on the continent. This process resulted in the adoption of three important policy documents: the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) in February 2009 and an Action Plan in December 2011 for the realization of the AMV. A Report of the International Study Group (ISG) which offered an intellectual analysis by deepening key tenets of the AMV and from which the Action Plan draws content was also launched by African ministers responsible for the development of mining in December 2011.
These policy documents set the stage for a departure from the current regimes operating on the continent into a new regime in which mining catalyses transformation mineral producing African countries. A departure into the new regime envisioned by the policy documents requires a strong constituency of change rooted in ownership and support within African society. African civil society organizations and networks/coalitions are key part of this constituency. Secondly, the scope of issues raised by the reform agenda requires an engagement with a broad range of civil society actors and constituencies for the realization of the change set out for mining in Africa.
The meeting would bring together representatives of African civil society networks/coalitions and social constituencies from labour movements, mining affected community groups, artisanal and small scale mining organizations, gender groups, the media among others to discuss and improve understanding of the AMV and related policy documents, issues and processes of the Africa mining reform agenda.
The meeting is also expected to generate a common understanding about opportunities and challenges for civil society advocacy around the African mining reform agenda and make inputs and contributions to the finalization of the business plan of the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC). The AMDC is being established as result of the decisions of the December 2011 AU Ministerial Conference on Minerals and Development and will be a coordinating centre for the implementation of decisions towards the realization of the AMV.