Addis Ababa (ENA) December 10/2022 African countries need to cooperate to ensure maximum benefit from their mineral wealth, African Minerals and Geosciences Centre (AMGC) Director-General Ibrahim Shaddad said.
In an exclusive interview with ENA, the director-general said cooperation of institutions responsible in the mining sector among African countries is of paramount significance for integration and exchange of information, and building skill of expertise.
This could be done through exchanges of visits and training opportunities with countries, he added.
“We have to cooperate in the field and offices by exchanging data and sharing best practices. This is the only way we survive and promote our multilateral and bilateral benefits from the mineral potentialities and mineral resources to be a real mineral wealth.”
There are small-scale miners along the border who engage in smuggling, illicit mineral trade, and affecting countries not benefit from their own wealth, Shaddad noted.
Through discussion and cooperation, the ministries and geological institutes could formalize the sector and control the benefits of each of the countries.
According to him, illicit mineral trade may create conflict and “we (therefore) need conflict free beneficiation of mineral wealth between African countries.”
Countries could come to discuss about multilateral and bilateral benefits of mine technically, he added.
Regarding the efforts being exerted by the Ethiopian government to intensify regional integration, Shaddad said it is an appreciable effort that all the governments of the region should join.
“They (the countries in the region) have to encourage such things and they make the middle of the bridge not waiting for the Ethiopian government to come across the bridge.”
It is in the interest of our nations and we have so many common tribes along the borders, which is something arbitrary that has been created by the colonial powers, the director-general elaborated.
He advised all Africans that have common borders to carry out transboundary activities to benefit the huge number of people traveling across the borders.
“In this regard, I appreciate the effort of the Ethiopian government, and call on the other governments to cooperate for multilateral and bilateral beneficiation.”
The African Minerals and Geosciences Centre (AMGC), formerly known as Southern and Eastern African Mineral Centre (SEAMIC), was established in 1977 to principally carry out regional geological surveying and to provide minerals exploration and consulting services for programs of its founding member states.
The member states are Ethiopia, Tanzania and Mozambique, later joined by Uganda, Angola and the Comoros.
Kenya became a member in 2006 and the Sudan joined in 2010. In 2007, the ministerial meeting in Maputo decided that membership is open to all African states.
To reflect this expansion of the scope, the name of the Centre was changed to African Minerals and Geosciences Centre (AMGC) starting from July 2015.