Mines dot almost all countries in Africa typifying Africa’s gigantic mineralmining potential.  In as much as the continent is strongly endowed with mineral resources, mining has not been the consistent engine of economic development that people in many African countries have hoped for.  Global demand for African minerals is driven primarily by the needs of developed nations, a big contradiction.

Such minerals as platinum, chromium, diamonds, bauxite, cobalt, gold, phosphate, uranium, iron among many others. Conversely the countries with most minerals always pose high political and economic risks for investors, with political instability being the major factor.  Furthermore, infrastructure problems often hinder development; commercial mining require multi billion-dollar investments in rail and port facilities to allow ore or semi processed minerals to reach their markets, a big challenge in most African countries. Such investment remains a challenge, especially for less stable countries where the rule of law and security are not necessarily guaranteed.

African governments have expressed frustration about the way the continent’s resource endowment hasn’t translated into economic development. The African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) have developed the African Mining Vision 2050, which sets out a number of ideas for increasing the resource wealth flowing to the nations that host mining operations. Some of these ideas would transfer wealth from mining companies to governments—for example, by making the auctioning of exploration rights more effective and linking taxation to commodity prices more closely. Others, such as the better management of resource income and the active development of the supply and infrastructure sectors, aim to create a more favourable environment for economic development.

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