The Australian Senior Trade Commissioner in Africa, Mr John Madew, said despite challenging global economic conditions, the scale of Australian resources sector interests in Africa, had been expanding rapidly.
That country’s expertise in this area and its commitment to Africa’s development, are being showcased at the Mining Indaba conference, which is the world’s biggest mining investment conference, currently underway in Cape Town, South Africa.
More than 7,000 individuals representing about 1,500 international companies from 100 countries and government delegations are attending the event which is the 19th edition.
“Australian companies are committed to working in partnership with local communities, including improving the skills of local workforces. Our companies are also well known for bringing about advanced technology and high standards of occupational health and safety,” Mr Madew said.
The Australian High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr Graeme Wilson, said Australia was now more committed than ever, to growing and strengthening its long-term partnership with Africa.
“It is our view that the resource-rich countries, a well-managed minerals sector, can improve employment, income and enterprise opportunities and support progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, by delivering sustainable economic development,” he said.
The High Commissioner re-iterated that Africa was the focus of Australia’s Mining for Development initiative which is aimed at improving the governance of mining resources, increasing transparency and skills development as well as ensuring that mining revenue supported sustainable development.
In addition to supporting the development of the African Minerals Development Centre, including providing US$5 billion for its establishment, Mr Wilson said Australia had hosted more than 400 officials from 34 African states on mining study tours since 2011.
Story by Sebastian Syme