Southern African Development Community (SADC) believes increasing the demand for mining goods and services is necessary to grow the industry in Africa Seth Akweshie, Industrialisation Adviser for SADC made the announcement recently at the Cross-Border Mining Services Indaba, in Johannesburg citing that most inland developments in Africa have been established owing to nearby mining activities.
“The economic landscapes in most African countries have been shaped by the mining sector,” said Akweshie.
“However, our reliance on the mining sector has been skewed almost exclusively towards a heavy dependence on extractive activities and, consequently, our economic fortunes, or misfortunes, continue to be dictated largely by the fluctuations in the international commodities market, over which we have absolutely no control,” he added.
He said a major issue that needs to be addressed was how to grow the demand for mining goods and services in Africa to ensure the long-term sustainability of this industry.
Akweshe said that the market for mining goods and services was fragmented and that it was imperative to find ways to not only link the market, but also consolidate the demand for various supplies.
“With a continental market that is artificially segmented by so many national boundaries, we need to create another supply centre outside of South Africa to cater for the “far-away places” to ensure that gold mining operations in Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe receive the same quality of inputs and services as the ones in South Africa,” he said.
Akweshie said the SADC ‘Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063’ identifies three paths for the region’s economic and technological transformation by moving from a factor-driven development phase to an efficiency-driven stage and, ultimately, to an innovation-driven stage.
The strategy identifies the development of value chains as the way to go, with minerals beneficiation and downstream processing as one of the three growth paths for the SADC economies.
The action plan for implementing the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap identifies the development of value chains in the minerals and beneficiation cluster as a critical aspect of the industrialisation process.
In particular, the capital goods cluster, comprising machinery and equipment, will be targeted for development.
“The supply of mining goods and services falls well within the sphere of targeted areas for which considerable efforts will be directed, as one cannot effectively develop the mining value chains without emphasis on developing the upstream, downstream and side-stream activities,” he said.