The world’s largest mining investment conference, Investing in African Mining Indaba, organised by Mining Indaba LLC, is taking place next month in Cape Town, South Africa (4-7 February 2013). It is an annual professional conference that brings together actors in the sector dedicated to the capitalisation and development of mining interests in the continent.
Last year’s conference was attended by over 7000 influential professionals, representing more than 1,500 international companies, as well as 45 African and non-African government delegations.
Malawi will be represented by John Bande, the Minister of Mines, who will present on 6 February 2013 between 14:21 and 14:41 at the African Ministerial Forum 3. He will present alongside Botswana’s Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Kitso Mokaila, Lesotho’s Minister of Mines, Tlali Khasu, and Mozambique’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Esperanca Laurinda Francisco Nhiuane Bias. Paladin Energy Limited and Globe Metals and Mining Limited, two actors in Malawi’s mining sector, will attend.
This year’s line-up of keynote speakers includes Mark Cutifani, CEO of AngloGold Ashanti, Robert M. Friedland, Executive Chairman and Founder of Ivanplats Limited, H.E. Mrs. Susan Shabangu, South Africa’s Minister of Mineral Resources, Bernard E. Sheahan, Director of the Infrastructure and Natural Resources Department, Africa and Latin America at the International Finance Corporation - The World Bank Group, and Dr. Dambisa Moyo, the international economist and author of New York Times bestsellers Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa and How the West Was Lost: Fifty Years of Economic Folly and the Stark Choices Ahead.
Moyo, in an interview with Mining Weekly, explained that China’s race for resources is positive for Africa, noting that good governmental management is critical if Chinese investment is to contribute significantly to long-term socio-economic development.
There are significant advantages for African economies in engaging with China from a trade perspective, job creation and in terms of investment. However, governments need to be savvy when managing investment flows and should recognise that China is particularly interested in assets that are scarce, finite and depleting. Therefore, a balance between the consumption and conservation of these resources should be maintained.
She emphasised that the Mining Indaba is a great opportunity for African engagement on a global scale and discussion on investment in the sector,
The Mining Indaba is a great platform […] to assess the impact that China has on the world and the potential the Asian country holds for investors and mining companies. It is important for African businesses to continue pursuing a strategy to form part of a global discourse – such as Brazil, Russia, India and China – or other emerging markets or developed economies. African businesses need to step up and mature to the point where they are engaging with those networks.
Of course, not all commentators view Chinese investment into Africa’s extractive industries postivitely, and perhaps some of these people will be attending the Alternative Mining Indaba to critically discuss the sector and its benefits for mining communities.
Cape Town will host the 4th session of the Alternative Mining Indaba from the 3rd to the 5th of February. The purpose of this year’s meeting, under the theme “Our Mineral Resources, Our Future - Where Are Our benefits?”, is to motivate and mobilise mining communities through strengthening the advocacy and strategic tools for their empowerment. Civil society organisations from across the world are expected to be represented.
According to South Africa’s Economic Justice Network, the Alternative Mining Indaba
has been developed by civil society to run simultaneously with the Mining Indaba to articulate the suffering of ordinary people while corporations and governments are meeting to form partnerships and design strategies to consolidate their profits. For instance, looking at how policy instruments like the African Mining Vision are a step in the right direction to get many African countries out of the ‘resource curse’.
The topics to be addressed at this year’s Alternative Mining Indaba include,
- Tax analysis/justice
- Environmental Justice on Pollution
- Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), how to ensure the community participates
- Corporate Social Responsibility/Accountability
- Contract Transparency and the mining legal framework
- Community organization/monitoring/engagement
- The role of the traditional leaders; lessons from the region
- Realizing the African Mining Vision: Threats and Challenges