Great result from the workshop on EU-Africa Cooperation in Mineral Resources that took place in Livingstone (Zambia) on 22nd November 2014. The workshop was preparatory to the Extraordinary Session of the Conference of African Ministers responsible for Mineral Resource Development (CAMRMRD). EuroGeoSurveys (EGS), the Geological surveys of Europe was invited by the African Union Commission and the European Commission to contribute to the debate. Mr Luca Demicheli, the Secretary General of EuroGeoSurveys, highlighted the fruitful cooperation in the field of geology, which is being carried with the Organisation of African Geological Surveys (OAGS).
In this framework the”PanAfGeo” feasibility study financed by the European Commission is assessing how to increase African-owned geological knowledge and skills for sustainable mineral exploitation and related infrastructures, and natural disasters prevention and mitigation. The study is carried out jointly by EGS and OAGS.
The sustainable use of resources of geological origin such as minerals and non-energy raw materials and groundwater requires skills based on modern knowledge and technology, adjusted to local needs, as well as mapping geology requires skilled individuals and technical tools, which several Geological Surveys in Africa are not able to afford. The study therefore has also developed a capacity building schema, through the creation of a decentralized specialization school for African professionals.
As Mr Demicheli pointed out, this feasibility study plays an important role to increase the geological knowledge of African countries and to allow them to better estimate national mineral reserves, better plan budgets based on expected revenues from these reserves and give increased bargaining power vis-à-vis mining firms.
By developing this ambitious pan-African project, this cooperation will strengthen the geological sector in Africa, and will therefore represent a step forward in the political commitment to the development of EU-Africa cooperation in this area.
Further developments will be discussed during the next OAGS General Meeting that will take place on 8-9 February 2015 in Cape Town.
More information about PanAfGeo http://panafgeo.eurogeosurveys.org/