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UN LAUNCHES NEW MINERALS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE TO IMPROVE SUSTAINABILITY IN AFRICA
01 January 2014

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with partners, has launched a new center that will help mineral-rich African countries to best utilize mining revenues for sustainable development, reports allafrica.com, citing the UNDP. Currently based in Addis Ababa, the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC), launched recently by Mozambique's Minister of Mines, Esperanza Biaz, was created to help implement the Africa Mining Vision, which aims to ensure the extractives sector can support social and economic development and growth across the continent.

The AMDC is co-sponsored by the Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The center's experts and researchers will be made available to help countries implement the Africa Mining Vision by advising governments, businesses and civil society organizations on issues such as mining licensing, geological and mining information systems, artisanal and small-scale minin, and investments in diversification.

"The [extractives] sector provides huge opportunities for sustainable development and poverty reduction if properly managed with the right mix of policies and enforcement systems in place," says Lebogang Motlana, the Director of UNDP's Addis Ababa-based Regional Service Center for Africa, as quoted by allafrica.com. According to the UNDP, for mineral resources to truly benefit the people in Africa, countries need to better manage their mineral revenues, and develop strong fiscal responsibility and macro-economic planning, as well as policies that can maximize people's participation, reduce inequalities and ensure natural resources are used in an environmentally sustainable manner.

UNDP will provide technical and financial support to the new AMDC, staff some of its members, and provide quick and direct support to countries on development and mining issues, reports allafrica.com. The UNDP says that it "brings a comprehensive package of services on managing extractive industries, advising countries and regional institutions on legislation, policy and planning, exploration and extraction focused on people, better collection and management of revenues, and investing in human development and structural transformation."

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