Investing in the African #mining sector to drive infrastructure development and economic growth
John Oliphant of Government Employees Pension Fund, South Africa, in his speech, “Investing in the African #mining sector to drive infrastructure development and economic growth” at the Asia Mining Congress 2012, mentioned about the importance of the government to set the right foundations and policies for Africa’s economic growth.
In addition, democracy and correct government policies will equal prosperity for Africa. The need for political stability is further reiterated with current situations such as mining activity declining significantly in Zimbabwe as a result of policies adopted by government. Also, the nationalization of mines debate in South Africa, creating policy uncertainty and less commitment to capital investment in mining sector. Therefore, a supportive government is crucial for the growth of the African mining sector.
Mr. Oliphant went on to emphasize the need for government investment to drive the mining sector. He establishes five key areas for improvement in Africa, to set the foundation for a successful mining sector. First, infrastructure is required to extract the natural resources and drive mining exports. Next, energy is crucial, as 50% of African will stay in cities by 2030. Third, transportation is important to link the mining sector to other areas to transport resource to the rest of the world. Fourth, the investment in information communication technology (ICT) is important with the increase in mobile penetration in Africa. Lastly, the improvement of water and sanitation; where 30% of Africans currently have no access to clean water.
All in all, I believe that the potential in Africa’s mining sector is astronomical. However, this can only be achieved with proper policies and investment in infrastructure in place. Currently, with investments in undersea cables, oilrigs, mobile telecom, airport, broadband and power generation are small steps taken to allow Africa to flourish. Therefore, it will only be the time before Africa shows its true power on the global stage.
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