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SECTOR-BY-SECTOR OPPORTUNITIES 89


Elisabeth Tankeu Commissioner for Minerals


Africa has for far too long relied on extracting, producing and exporting natural resources as raw materials, including agricultural products, for


earnings. While this sector has been profi table for many countries on our continent, we need to pay equal, if not more attention to the many other industries that can provide revenue, foreign-exchange earnings, employment, and the general revitalization of the private sector in Africa. This will lower poverty in both rural and urban communities, thereby contributing to one of the Millennium Development Goals. The African Union (AU) has developed a comprehensive Plan of Action for


the Accelerated Industrial Development of Africa, which is a framework for a host of initiatives aimed at developing industrial production in Africa. We have also created the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP), which is designed to foster policy reform, capacity development and, critically, to spur investment in the sector. Minerals and mining, another important industry, was given a further boost by the 2009 adoption of the African Mining Vision 2050. At the 2008 AU Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development, this department also proposed a series of measures including harmonizing the mining policies of Africa’s nations, as well as technological development, and regulatory reform. These will ensure that the sector is harnessed not just for private profi t, but also for the sustainable development of Africa. Lastly, although African trade with the world has been good for the


continent, it is equally important to further develop intra-African trade links. The trading partners of most African countries are the United States or Western European countries. Developing industries, improving technologies, and creating markets will enlarge the range of goods and services available for export to other African countries, while developing transportation connections will decrease often-prohibitive export costs. All of these areas present lucrative opportunities to create economic partnerships for the mutual benefi t of international investors and the AU.


The commissioner’s remit also extends to trade, manufacturing and industry


sustainable management of mineral resources and the environment. Resource rents will provide funds for investment in human and physical infrastructure. Improved infrastructure allows for the growth of other sectors, such as agriculture, forestry and tourism. The growth of added-value industries that process resources, as well as high-tech industries, will also feed other sectors, creating a clustering effect and the invention of new products. The challenges that the AMV seeks to tackle include


the so-called ‘resource curse’ and ‘Dutch disease’, whereby mineral wealth is stolen or squandered and/or currency accumulation throttles other sectors. Tackling these


challenges means structuring tax regimes so that they are fair to both industry and citizens; robust, yet remaining suffi ciently fl exible to accommodate changing economic circumstances; and neither strangling struggling industries nor resulting in nations missing out on windfalls during booms. This process requires the formation of effective


partnerships with industry to ensure that investment is forthcoming and, at the same time, the creation of a competitive local business environment. Governments are seeking to ensure that there are enough educated staff locally to capture the benefi ts of investment fully. New approaches are being tried as a result of the AMV: from innovation in


INVEST IN AFRICA 2011


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