PM announces support for responsible natural resource development in Africa

Ottawa, Ontario
8 January 2013

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced further support to help African countries manage their natural resources responsibly and transparently, which will contribute to sustainable economic development. The Prime Minister made the announcement during the visit to Ottawa by Dr. Thomas Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin and Chairperson of the African Union (AU).

"The development of mining, oil and gas resources in Africa is critical to the future prosperity of the continent," said Prime Minister Harper. "The support announced today will help African countries manage their natural resources responsibly and transparently with a view to accelerating sustainable economic growth, creating jobs and reducing poverty."

Through the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Canada is providing support to the African Mineral Development Centre. The Centre will deliver guidance and policy advice to African countries on how to manage their extractive sectors responsibly and transparently. The Centre will also provide a forum focused on generating innovative approaches to increase the contribution of those sectors to reduce poverty in Africa, resulting in positive development impacts. This initiative supports the African Union's commitment to realize the transparent, equitable, and optimal use of Africa's mineral resources.

Canada's contribution to the African Mineral Development Centre supports the implementation of the Government's Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy and builds upon a series of recent Canadian-led initiatives aimed at helping resource-rich developing countries utilize the extraction of natural resources to promote and accelerate sustainable economic growth, create jobs and reduce poverty. These initiatives include the establishment of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development, and support to the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative and Extractive Industries Technical Advisory Facility.