|Overview : |
The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme is a three-year, €13.1 million capacity building program that aims to build the profile, and improve the management, of Development Minerals (industrial minerals; construction materials; dimension stones; and semi-precious stones). The program is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and implemented by UNDP.
The mining of Development Minerals has important implications for sustainable development, however, they have to date received inadequate attention for their potential to impact livelihoods; and few development programmes have provided support for this mining sub-sector. Often referred to as Low Value Minerals and Materials (LVMM) due to their low price as a function of their weight, and their relatively low value to international commodity markets, Development Minerals provide crucial inputs for domestic economic development (infrastructure, manufacturing, construction and agriculture to name a few) and have the potential to be high value in terms of national development.
In comparison to the metals sector, Development Minerals have closer links with the local economy, and have the potential to generate more local jobs, with a greater impact on poverty reduction. This is partly because the sector is dominated by small and medium scale domestic businesses. However, the income generation potential of the sector often remains unrealized or under-realized. This is in part due to the uncertain legal and regulatory framework in which the sector operates and the lack of publicly available and easily accessible geological data, which exacerbates wasteful exploration and discourages investment in the sector. Furthermore, there can be significant social and environmental impacts associated with the mining of Development Minerals, with consequences on health and safety of workers in this sector and surrounding communities.
The ACP-EU Development Minerals programme is implemented at the regional level (with participants from forty countries) and at the country level (focus countries include: Cameroon, Central Africa; Guinea – Conakry, West Africa; Uganda, East Africa; Zambia, Southern Africa; Jamaica, Caribbean; and Fiji, Pacific). At the regional level, the programme will conduct training activities. At the country level, it will include both training and other activities, such as small grants and partnerships to produce maps and databases on low-value minerals, development of regulations on environment and safety, organizing community engagement, addressing grievances, organizations of technology fairs and networking events, organization of public-private dialogues etc. The thematic areas of the programme activities are: 1) mine and quarry management; 2) environment, health and safety; 3) entrepreneurship skills; 4) market analysis and investment promotion; 5) geo-data and maps design; 6) community relations and addressing grievances.
The project uses UNDP’s capacity development approach. The key stakeholders will include public stakeholders such as regulatory agencies and local governments; private stakeholders such as small-scale mining enterprises and associations, business development centers; and social stakeholders such as civil society organizations and community groups.