Nigeria’s Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Oladele Alake has urged African leaders to unite in order to maximise the benefits of the continent’s mineral resources.
His call came during the signing of a resolution to establish the Africa Minerals Strategy Group, held on the sidelines of the 30th edition of Investing in Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.
Dr. Alake, who was unanimously elected as the pioneer chairman of the group, emphasised the need for African leaders to speak with one voice on value addition as a prerequisite for investment in the mining sector, signalling an end to the era of exploiting solid minerals without significant local benefits.
He highlighted Africa’s strategic position in the global economic landscape, particularly in supplying critical metals required for the energy transition. Dr. Alake stressed the importance of African countries coming together to assert their control over their resources, thereby avoiding past experiences of exploitation.
Dr. Alake emphasised the importance of standardised regulations and laws across African countries to ensure fairness and transparency in the mining sector. He pledged Nigeria’s full support to achieve the objectives of the newly established Africa Minerals Strategy Group.
In his words, “Today, there is economic scramble for Africa. The critical metals needed for the energy transition are in Africa. Therefore, if we do not come together this time around and take our destinies in our hands, we will go through the same harrowing experiences of the past. That is why we formed this body.
“Let those who want our minerals know that if you go to country A, you have the same regulations and laws guiding the sector. You go to country B, you find the same. So, there is no divide and rule anymore. That is when we can show sincerity of purpose, and the world will begin to take Africa seriously. On behalf of our president, I pledge our full support to achieve our objectives,” the minister asserted.
The event was attended by ministers of mineral development from several African countries, including Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Chad, Botswana, Zambia, and Namibia.