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Local Value Addition, Catalyst For Mining Devt In Africa – Alake

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FMMSD Suadi
The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake (middle) flanked by other panelists during a session at the ongoing Future Minerals Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake has underscored the inclusion of local value as the main ingredient for the development of the mining sector in Africa.

Speaking as a distinguished panellist at the opening session of the ongoing Future Minerals Forum (FMF) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, themed “Why the Super Region? Should the Super Region Have Its Own Critical Minerals Strategy?” Alake emphasised that in the global pursuit of achieving a net-zero environmental impact in all mining operations, the focus should shift from the long-standing practice of merely extracting raw mineral resources to embracing local value addition.

“For us in Nigeria and across much of Africa, the concept of a super region holds great significance. It provides an avenue to harness the diverse, distinctive mineral resources within the boundaries of our super regions, contributing to a sustainable energy mix for the world. In Nigeria, we have placed particular emphasis on the development of our critical minerals and rare earth metals. The idea of inclusivity in a super region calls for collaborative efforts, spanning investments, technology transfer, knowledge sharing and, most notably for us in Africa, local value addition.

“In Africa, where substantial infrastructural development is needed, the significance of the super region cannot be overstated. It is our duty to formulate strategies for creating robust alliances and economic integration. Africa holds a significant percentage of critical minerals, now in high demand as the world shifts towards green energy. Therefore, the continent can no longer afford to be shortchanged,” asserted Alake.

The minister reiterated that the strategy of inclusivity within the super region should entail a shift from the exploitative practice of mere extraction of mineral resources. Instead, conscious efforts should be made to develop the mining industry value chain, ultimately leading to the processing of minerals into finished products. This transformative approach, according to Alake, will not only drive economic development but also elevate countries across the continent to greater heights.

In a statement released by the minister’s special assistant on media, Segun Tomori, it was highlighted that other distinguished panellists who actively participated in the session included Pakistani Minister of Energy, HE Muhammed Ali; United Kingdom Minister of State for Industry and Economy, HE Nosrat Ghani; Chairman of Anglo American, Stuart Chambers; Vice-chairman of CMOC Group, Steele Li and CEO of Ma’adeen, Robert Wilt.

As Africa strives for economic advancement, Alake’s advocacy for local value addition in the mining sector emerges as a pivotal step towards sustainability, economic growth and inclusivity within the global discourse on critical minerals and their strategic significance. The ongoing Future Minerals Forum stands as a platform for fostering international collaboration and shaping the trajectory of Africa’s mining industry, aligning it with the imperatives of a greener and more sustainable future.

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