Canada underlines support for sustainable natural resource development to reduce poverty in Africa

December 16, 2013

Maputo, Mozambique — Today, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie, Christian Paradis, attended the third African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development in Maputo, Mozambique. During the conference, PS Brown helped launch the African Minerals Development Centre, to which Canada is the largest contributor.

"Creating sustainable economic growth, led by the private sector, is the number one way to break the cycle of poverty," said PS Brown. "When managed properly, the extractive sector can generate substantial revenues for governments which they can in turn invest in much-needed infrastructure and basic services, including health and education. Local businesses can also benefit, which leads to greater job creation."

Approved in February 2009 during an African Union Summit, the Africa Mining Vision seeks to use Africa's mineral wealth as a tool for social and economic transformation and supports the transparent, equitable and optimal development of Africa's mineral resources. In January 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada is contributing $15.3 million over five years in support to the Centre through the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Canada's commitment to help African countries maximize the benefits of their extractive sectors helps ensure these benefits flow to their people in ways that improve their overall quality of life.

"Canada's support for the African Minerals Development Centre will help deliver guidance and policy advice to African countries on how to manage their natural resources responsibly and transparently," added PS Brown. "This means developing clear and consistent mining codes, legislation, and taxation systems that will facilitate both investment and local business participation in extractive sector development."

Sustainable economic growth is one of Canada's development priorities. Canada recognizes that leveraging the resources, expertise and innovation capabilities of the private sector contributes to reducing poverty throughout the world.

- 30 -

For more information, media should contact:

Margaux Stastny, Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: margaux.stastny@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD)
Telephone: 819-995-1874
Email: media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATDCanada

Backgrounder

The African Minerals Development Centre

The Africa Mining Vision is the African-owned agenda for mineral resource development. Approved in February 2009 during an African Union Summit, the Africa Mining Vision seeks to use Africa's mineral wealth as a tool for social and economic transformation and supports the transparent, equitable and optimal development of Africa's mineral resources.

In 2011, the African Union created the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) to help implement the Africa Mining Vision Action Plan, and mandated the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) to host the Centre and coordinate its activities. In January 2013, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Government of Canada is contributing $15.3 million over five years in support to the Centre through the UNECA.

The AMDC will be:

  • a one-stop information centre on best practices in sustainable mining policy and management, as well as information-sharing and networking, to support sustainable mining practices and development;
  • a continental forum for countries, stakeholders and donors to discuss innovative ways to increase mining's contribution to sustainable development and poverty reduction in Africa;
  • a focal point for identifying the needs of Member States in the management of the mining sector and deploying appropriate expertise;
  • a source of technical expertise to help African countries manage their mining sector responsibly and transparently; and,
  • a research centre to promote mining policy harmonization among Member States.

While at the African Union Conference of Ministers Responsible for Mineral Resources Development, the Parliamentary Secretary also participated in a panel discussion on leveraging the Africa Mining Vision and chaired a roundtable discussion on Women's Economic Empowerment in Africa with African and Canadian business and community leaders.

PS Brown took the opportunity to meet with a number of her counterparts from across the continent with the objective of reinforcing collaboration between Canada and Africa to sustainably develop Africa's vast natural resource potential for the benefit of its people.